Politics can be overwhelming and cause a plethora of anxiety.
In lieu of election campaigns, having a productive political discussion with so much racial tension is akin to walking an extremely high tight rope.
While it’s alright to stand your ground and hold to heart what you believe in, it can be pretty tricky to definitively state where your true ideals stand within the bureaucratic structure that we have to choose from.
Being a person of color, whether black, latinx, or bi-racial, the concept of “belonging” or having a fully deeply-rooted acceptance becomes exceptionally complicated.
Not only is there a historical and cultural nuance of what makes us of the ethnic background we claim to be apart of, there’s a narrative of taking down policies that we believe limit us and hold us back.
That can range anywhere within racism, capitalism, homophobia, trans phobia, or sexism.
A lot of these ideals fall within the Left, democratic, and liberal ideologies. Although at least 8% of blacks voted for Donald Trump, this was the first time where minorities publicly had to confront that we are not always on the same page, let alone have the same vision.
And although we as minorities fight and pride ourselves on not being grouped into a monolith from others, we tend to not know what to do when we come across someone who is of the same skin tone who doesn’t align with us politically.
Growing Into Political Consciousness
If you were like me, you were lucky enough to go to college. You learn about your history and how that history fits into the entirety of the diaspora. A sorting of which slaves (or which color of the enslaved) were brought from which part of the continent onto which island or country.
This education, however, is a privilege.
Our generation has a unique and fun time connecting to the group of which we are “grouped”.
These nuances bring on a critical lens of “community” and because the only language placed on us is deemed through a white-dominant 18th century understanding of “race” and skin color, it gets tricky to feel grounded.
It becomes a double-edged sword of grouping ourselves under these terms because we accept how whiteness sees us (for survival purposes) but then counter-actively try to reclaim what we are outside of those binaries.
And man, this state of being is akin to the slow-build of LSD, where within densely white-populated areas the more need to assert our beings and our identities away and from whiteness. Which honestly for someone like me (who just likes to walk around as just as I am) can get exhausting.
Which can be just symptomatic of how our existence amongst whites can be exhausting.
But I’m loosing focus here.
The Fact That We Are Not The Same Means We Cannot “Group” Ourselves The Same.
I was recently inspired by a VICE video and from a bit of my own experiences in college surrounding politics that I’ve how much we make ourselves into a monolith in the hopes to move forward as a unit.
The video puts together black liberals and conservatives to discuss racial politics and I found watching the video worthwhile.
inability to see where the people who don’t agree with us stem from is a part
(and I do say only a part) of the
reason why we don’t know how to engage in these discussions without
condemnation and adequately address their
own biases about where we
It’s the repeat of evangelism and the religious “gospel” that becomes the ultimate moral right or wrong. You are or aren’t this enough. And my only problem is how this subsequently affirms the monoliths we attempt to break out of.
It allows whites to feel like they can further weigh in who is or isn’t more a legitimate “person of color” or use a person of color’s differing opinion as a way to support their own biases.
Now hang on, because I know what you’re thinking.
Knowing where and why your “opponent” stands in the position they stand in quickly gets translated to tolerance and or acceptance.
But understanding does not always have to equate approval.
It just means we can have critical discussions without extending hate or an anti-rhetoric on anyone. Thank you, Jouelzy.
remember having a conversation in Florida with my family and how my brother
didn’t really believe in racism in America. It took a lot of emotional
restraint and calmness to not feed into what he already thought was wrong about
“black people who think racism is real.” My aunt, who was so
passionate about this subject, couldn’t help but get frustrated and angry at some
of the statements he was making.
When the conversation is worth it, say like with a relative or whomever you deem “worth it”, treating the conversations and ideas of your opponent as “real” statements versus ignorant ones goes a lot farther in a conversation. But this all goes within the lines of what you deem worthy.
I have also walked by black male co-workers who say things like: I’ll never vote for a female president and I chose not to bite.
Not worth it.
Knowing our limits and our emotional ability to be invested in these conversations is only half the battle. Because our political views are a tribute to our morals.
But conversations around these topics can get exhausting quick. And I often feel like there isn’t much refuge in how to handle these situations, especially around the every-four-year-mark.