My first significant participation in the political world was the 2016 presidential election. All my friends and I voted and needless to say, we were all disappointed. Some of us cried, and some of us refused to speak. No matter how we reacted, we knew one thing was true. This could not be the end.
In any way we can, we need to organize, divest, protest, and fight to soften the blow that Trump’spresidency has dealt us. Yet, there became this pretentious ideology that the more you remove yourself from politics, the better and smarter of a person you are. Some believe that by not having an opinion, or forsaking that opinion for the comfort of those who oppose you, makes positive discourse, or even concrete political change happen.
In a country where not only discriminatory legislation exists, our current president made introducing discriminatory legislation his platform. Thus, there is no room for neutrality.
The idea of a completely politically removed world sounds as pleasing to the average American as a nap does to an exhausted college student. However, this idea is so preposterous and this line of thinking is nothing more than a lazy excuse to get out of having difficult but important conversations.
Politics are taxing and fighting about it is even more exhausting. However, despite the appeal of this post-politics utopia, there are two main flaws.
The first is that this rhetoric reduces the significance of political decisions in our lives and assumes that if we ignore the problems, they will go away. The second is that while everyone has the right to an opinion and their ability to share that is important, this choice to remain neutral does not substitute objective truth and does not justify objective wrongdoing.
We live in a country where 48 states have trans and gay panic laws, which justify the murder of trans and gay Americans if the murderer finds out the victim is gay or trans and “panics.” There is no room for neutrality in alleviating this.
No one can say that being removed from politics and just loving people regardless of who they are actually does something. This is institutional discrimination, and politics inform how these institutions discriminate. It is impossible to remain neutral without conceding to the side of the oppressor.
Along with reducing inherently political topics to something that they are not, most rhetoric of neutrality goes the extra mile to excuse blatant discrimination in the name of fairness or “diversity of thought.”
Since Trump has been elected there is constant discussion of uniting the left. Many suggest that the only way to do this is by adopting more and more conservative policy and looking past our beliefs for the sake of putting the lesser of two evils in places of power.
Neutrality, centrism, color blindness, or whatever else one might call it is misguided, naive and always ensures that the greater of two evils prevails. If unity comes at the cost of my beliefs or protections, than it is not unity at all, it is simply sacrifice in vain.