Written by Dana Jacoviello
Political debate and healthy conversation used to be something that was not seen as a stigma. It was not deemed a horrible thing to do, and people were not so judged for doing so. It helps us get a better sense of self. Others listened to each other, but that is not to say there was still not chaos, bullying, and other hateful things going on in the world of politics. It has always been a touchy subject, along with religion. Until recently during the last election, it has never become more of a fight to openly have a discussion.
In today’s society it seems so hard to even have an opinion. To fight what you believe is right. Standing up and speaking out has even become a war against each other like I have never seen before. On the good side of it, you have plenty of those that are respectful, will engage in healthy conversation, and actually try to see the other side. You do have a large amount of people uniting and coming together for good. This is what it should be all around, rather than people being so divided by sides. You do not have to take sides. You just have to agree to disagree and move on. We have moved so far past that type of division…or so we all thought.
The last thing we want to do is go back 50 years. That is what we are all trying to avoid happening. We live in a very different world. A modernized world that should be accepting of everybody.
Disagreeing doesn’t mean you are not able to coexist. Family, friends, and even partners have split apart or cut people out of their lives simply because they made a choice that was did not agree with theirs. Beliefs are one thing. Everybody is entitled to have them and follow them, but being hateful, disrespectful, and shoving your stance down people’s throats is a completely separate issue. I do not raise concern when it comes to blocking or unfriending people who are choose bigotry and hate over kindness, but we also have to understand that every person that is a conservative should not be deemed a racist or that every person that is liberal might also have some conservative views of their own. Just because you choose a particular party does not necessarily mean you agree with everything they say or do. Just like all protests or marches are not violent or considered riots. Protestors are for the most part peaceful. Violence is not part of protesting, so to lump protesting in with violence is unfair. Those who choose to take that route are not protesting.
Bullying has grown in abundance over the current administration. People lashing out at each other and discrimination is on the rise more than it probably has ever been, along with racism. I am not saying it did not exist before, but there are countless posts and videos that are showing people’s true colors who otherwise probably were closeted until people believe it all of a sudden became an ok thing to do. They see a supposed leader of the country acting a certain way, so people follow suit.
People see, and people do. Things are said, and actions are taken. It is quite disheartening the displays I have seen all over social media. What is most sad is the way we are treating each other. Women attacking women, strangers attacking strangers, friends attacking friends, family attacking family, or partners attacking partners. Enough already. We do not have to tear each other down and rip each other apart for having a political stance on certain subjects.
From fake news being spread around from sites that are not reputable to comments made with no research or facts, it ends up as just back and forth banter with nothing brought to the table. Then when someone actually does propose facts, people find a way to discredit them. There is no winning with some, so at some point you leave it alone and keep fighting for what you believe in.
Now more than ever so many feel attacked from immigrants, human rights, women rights, and the LGBTQ community. Some are telling others to stop being aggressive or annoying with their presence. Why? Why should they stop? It shows that people care and are using a platform to take action and create change. Change that needs to take place that is going to hurt a great deal of people. We do not have to let that happen. Freedom to do these things is what America is built on. Since when did honesty become a bad thing? Why is it so hard to communicate without being called names or a bully?
This is how change happens. All those who fought for rights throughout history, they did it through perseverance, not giving up, and speaking out. They took action on causes that needed attention. That is what people are doing now. You do not have to like it or get involved, but to demean them for doing so is wrong.
Most recently there is much argument over celebrities being political due to being privileged as if they have no voice as human beings. They have every right just as the person sitting next to you. What they do for a living or how much they make has no bearing on them voting or having a political standpoint and perspective. They use their platforms for good that reach millions of people, which is the entire point of taking action to create change. Not sure why this is such an issue for some.
Treating them as if they are just supposed to be on your television and exist purely for entertainment is ignorance and hate. One comment recently on a post I made suggested that they do not wash dishes and they have maids so why do they get a say? My simple response was that MANY people use housecleaning services. I find no point in arguing with people who are either just trying to get a rise out of you, or simply making rude comments that hold no bearing. They are mainly ridiculous comments made to knock another person down as it makes them feel powerful in some way, which most bullies do.
People say do not engage, but engaging with kindness and respect is what we should be doing. Now, when it comes to not getting anywhere with a person, not engaging is the best route to take. It just throws fuel on the fire they are trying to start with no intention of trying to put it out.
Another problem I see arise is on fan pages where celebrities are having charity auctions for causes that are important to them, and you get to see people trash them for their views. They stop being a fan, they stop watching their show, and they continue on to be hateful on a fan page, which is just wrong. You do not have to like what someone stands for, but one thing has nothing to do with the other. You can disagree, as stated many times over in this article, but you can also not comment if you have nothing nice to say. You do not have to belittle someone down to size.
It doesn’t make them a bad person. We all have different views. What I see is hurtful. Things are said that people should be ashamed of saying to someone. Recently I have seen this happening a lot on pages of actors who are very kind and humble human beings. Always doing social good and going out of the way for fans. Not a hateful bone in their body, but yet people curse them out when they make a political post or promote an auction to raise money. Many step up to defend, and they do kindly, others not so much.
We do have to be careful how we defend. The thread than goes from being a positive post about a cause to a political thread of people going back and forth attacks, but being political should not be a bad thing. Why would we not care what happens to the country that we live in called America?
Nobody, absolutely, nobody should ever be told they have to sit back when there is so much fear in the world we live in today. If we just come together in love, that is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal.