Featured Image: Kyle Ryan
Aren’t you two friends?
Why would it matter when you’re dating?
That doesn’t mean anything.
A repeated cycle of worded ignorance that has run through my ears more times than I can count. It blows my mind why some people find it a difficult idea to take hold of. When I was a young elementary school student, I took pride in being understanding and respectful of other political views, but now I realize being understanding and respectful don’t always fall in the same loop. In fact, in the present day, I don’t respect everyone’s differing political views because I understand, I truly understand.
Self-care is more than applying a face mask on the weekends or treating yourself to a binge-watching marathon. Self-care can be taking responsibility for your social circle, and this is where, to me, political beliefs make a special appearance.
For the sake of your mental health, you shouldn’t be involved in relationships that make you unhappy, or that make you feel restricted in any way. Many may view this message as a counterargument to my point, and say that threatening to end a friendship due to the other person’s political beliefs is restrictive towards them, however, this is invalid. When a political view is based on placing restrictions and harmful labels on groups of people, it’s absurd to protest about your opinion not being respected, be kind, and expect kindness in return.
Political views are not a simple preference, it is not the same as liking In-N-Out when your friend prefers McDonald’s — people’s lives are at stake. I’ve seen many of my own friends remain close to Trump-supporting conservatives and defend it by saying things like, “well, they’ve never said anything mean to me.” This just could never be my mindset. I’m not willing to wait for the kid who comes in a “Make America Great Again” hat every day to math class to call me a “rapist Mexican” before I cut them off. I don’t care if they’ve shared the answers to the homework with me before.
My opinion revolves around knowing what happens behind the scenes. To my face, I may not be insulted, but at the end of the day, this type of person goes to their home surrounded by Trump campaign signs and sits around with their family at the dinner table calling my people “illegals”, and making fun of our heavy accents. When they turn on Fox News and see the brown children in cages they nod their heads in satisfaction. The true heart and mind of the person are revealed in these instances. Having a person like that take any part in my life is something I refuse to accept.
There are those who don’t agree with everything the Trump administration does, and what’s their excuse for supporting him? The economy. My point stands towards these people; being part of a political party filled with individuals who see no harm in ripping off a woman’s hijab is disgusting. Reinforcing politicians who demonize people of color every time they speak on television or who feel threatened when a South Korean film wins an Academy Award gives them more power to think it’s alright to take jabs at anyone who looks different from them. Taking place beside an oppressive person makes you an oppressor, and when a lack of intelligence causes failure in realizing this, the person must be educated. If after being educated the person refuses to “move”, you take the next step — removing them from your life.
Are you really going to let politics ruin your friendship? Without hesitance, yes I will. Politics divulge morals. They represent how you feel about our world and those in it. Unjust people will always complain, pushing you to “respect” what they blindly assume is a simple opinion, when that opinion they hold controls the way our society works. I reject respecting a belief that chooses to not respect my very own existence on Earth. You lose nothing in following this mentality, life is far too short to spend it with someone who takes just one glance at another before deciding they are worth less. Being surrounded by human beings with healthy world views prevents your soul from dimming, and you should take responsibility in helping it remain as bright as possible.