Scrolling through FB after another day of relentless bad news, I saw a post from a man I admire; a man who is considered a leader in his community. As he is someone I know to be a champion of the oppressed and underprivileged, I was disheartened to see his short recounting of a recent meal he had with an old friend—a Republican. The gist of the story was this: even though they have opposing views about politics and will never be able to influence the other the change, they can maintain their relationship by agreeing to disagree.
Several people commended him on his largess in the comments and I saw a few “I wish everyone thought like this” type responses.
I did not comment or respond to the post myself because I learned years and years and years ago that Facebook is no place for an argument with someone you care about. But I could not stop thinking about it. It actually woke me up in the middle of the night.
This man, my Facebook friend, is active in the Christian church but the inclusive, Jesus-like Christian church. I know for a fact that he not only works side by side with POC and LGBTQ but that he calls many of them his friends. He is a passionate advocate for immigrant rights. He is married to a powerful woman who is a leader in her own right.
In other words, this man is an ally.
But this man is also a white, heterosexual person of some privilege beyond that which all those things afford and that FB post made it very clear to me that on some level he still doesn’t “get it”.
So for him and anyone else who is struggling to justify relationships with people in their life who are knowingly voting for a man whose policies have undermined the rights of migrants, women, children, LGBTQ persons, POC and #BlackLivesMatter and also attacked protections of freedom of speech, rights to health, fair pay, not to mention the rollback of environmental protections, gun control laws and the imminent threat to both the ACA and a woman’s right to choose?
I have this to say: unless you have some skin in the game (literally or figuratively)? Please sit down (or take a knee, even better).
Donald Trump is an overtly racist person.
Donald Trump has forcibly separated children from their parents and claims immigrant children are “not so innocent“.
Seriously, I could do this all day and I haven’t even started talking about COVID-19 or the fact that violence is regularly committed by Trump followers who invoke his name.
No, we cannot “agree to disagree”. This is about the rights and wellbeing of everyone in this country who is not a white, heterosexual man of privilege. This is about the wellbeing of our freaking PLANET.
I will not agree to disagree that my rights, or the rights of LGBTQ persons or POC or immigrants should be defined as “less than” anyone else’s by law.
I will not agree to disagree about FACTS or SCIENCE.
I will not agree to disagree that the over 200,000 U.S. citizens who have lost their lives to COVID-19 are “almost nobody”.
If you choose to vote for the continuation of this administration, you are committing an assault on EVERYONE who is not a white, heterosexual man of privilege. EVERYONE. An actual act of aggression.
And to anyone who thinks “agreeing to disagree” with people who are assaulting us is the “Christian” thing to do, let me speak your language for a minute: while Jesus taught us we should “turn the other cheek” when we are assaulted, he also taught us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers, we do to him. So, two things here: as white, heterosexual men, YOUR rights are not being assaulted and you cannot “turn the other cheek” for all the people whose are AND if you vote to assault the rights of people who are not white, heterosexual men, you are voting the violate the rights of Jesus. ALSO: stop using religion as a tool to abdicate responsibility for horrible human rights violations.
No, we cannot agree to disagree.
This administration is a terrorist organization.
The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Unless you are a white, heterosexual man of additional privilege.
Who doesn’t have a pre-existing health condition.