Let me explain.
Once upon a time, politics was really just that…politics. At least from what I noticed, things didn’t really venture much outside of the political arena. At some point, people developed the mindset that we should “never” discuss politics, but that was only because so much was involved that it was thought that two disagreeing would not often reach a viable agreement, so it was best to just agree to disagree and leave things be.
At one time, the only ones we saw primarily in presidential elections were white men. Of course, blacks and women did run, but before former President Barack Obama in 2008, none of them made it as far as being one of the two major party candidates remaining. So for the most part back then, aside from political party affiliation, stances on issues and personal lives, there wasn’t much that was wildly different about the white candidates. So it was relatively easy to remain in the area of “politics.”
Enter Barack Obama. Again, he was not the first black person ever to run for president, but he obviously made it the furthest.
The idea of the “first black president” alone, quite frankly, pissed a LOT of people off. We all know those people who just despise progress or cultural diversity in ANY way. They aren’t big fans of “firsts.” No matter what it means for our country’s history, they just aren’t feeling this. At all. The resistance by some is almost laughable.
So what’s the difference between 2008 and the other blacks who have run for president? Again, with them not having made it as far as receiving the major party nomination, I don’t believe it looked like any of them would actually have a chance at becoming president. Obama changed that. He was the first one to make the country really see that this just might happen.
Now, of course, racism hadn’t gone away. Big shock there. So MANY people decided that Obama would not receive their votes the instant they learned of his skin color. Obviously no one would openly admit this at the time, so they had to find all these little cheap ways and complete nonsense to justify not voting for him. You know…the whole birth certificate deal, him being a Muslim and oh yeah, how DARE his parents have the nerve to give him Hussein as a middle name.
Yeah, people really used that one. If you are not old enough to be familiar with Saddam Hussein, just look him up. He essentially became an enemy of the United States and we went to war with him. Because Obama was given Hussein as a middle name, people really stuck to that as a reason he shouldn’t become president, along with why he was a bad “choice.”
I kid you not.
Saddam did not even become the president of Iraq until 1979. Obama was born in 1961. So yes…surely his parents just knew what they were doing in giving him that as a middle name and what it would represent nearly 30 years later when the Gulf War began in 1990.
The reaching became most evident to me when Obama was put down for wearing a tan suit. That’s it. He once conducted a press briefing wearing a tan suit. My guess is that because presidents traditionally wore dark-colored suits, this was so obviously the epitome of sheer evil.
It is worth noting that the late John McCain, who was Obama’s opponent in 2008, even stood up for him during one of his own town hall meetings (Obama was not present) at the time they were running against each other. A woman stood up and said:
“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him. He’s an Arab.”
Anyway, McCain shut it down right away with this response:
“No Ma’am. He’s a decent family man, a citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
So even then, when a few allowed that ugliness on their feelings of Obama to show, even his opponent stood up for him. So we weren’t quite there yet.
That was also around the time social media was becoming quite popular. So people like the woman above were getting just a little more comfortable in speaking more candidly about Obama (among many others things and people), knowing that they had the protection of their computers screens.
Then come the internet trolls.
Simply put, internet trolls are those who exist on the internet for no other reason but to rile people up with nonsense, whether they actually agree with it or not. So of course, these trolls would go deeper in expressing real or fabricated hate toward Obama. The only problem here was that while many were called out for this behavior, MANY people who were NOT trolls began to echo these sentiments, less concerned with being called out. So that was the beginning.
Enter Donald Trump.
In 2011, Donald Trump tweeted this:
“But most Americans are fucking idiots anyway.”
This was in response to someone. I almost wanted to go through the trouble of tracking down the conversation and what came before this, but I don’t need to. I cannot imagine something being said before this that will change my opinion on the statement itself.
In 2011, the U.S. population was about 311 million. So “most” would mean at least more than 155.5 million or so. Don’t get too bogged down on the math. I only mention that to state that he feels this is about the number of people in this country who were “fucking idiots.” I’m not sure what qualifies him to make that determination, but his stance was pretty clear.
Before you try and come at me with “He didn’t really mean that,” take a number. That’s been going around a lot lately. Trump has said a LOT that his supporters seem to think that he “really didn’t mean.” You can save that.
Why do I bring this up? Well because Trump is a business man. One thing I will give him credit for is that he is running the country the same way he would run his businesses. He’s treating people the same way as if he was only concerned about getting their money. The only problem with this is that being president is NOT a business. So it doesn’t quite work that way.
Couple this with the fact that people could not stand that Obama would have served two FULL presidential terms by 2016. On top of that, now Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination.
Oh HELL no.
Not another “first.”
People who hated Obama really could not stand the thought of the first woman president, especially after have to “suffer” through the first black president, him with his tan suits and all. So they would be willing to vote for just about anyone to not have to go through that “first” again. If a purple walrus with an orange goat’s tail ran for president at that time, they would rather have it than another “first” as president. Some came out and said it pretty much like that.
I don’t need anyone to come on and tell me that isn’t you. Most would not admit that anyway. That’s between you and God. But I’m not stupid, either.
Anyway, Trump knew this much. So when it was time for him to run, he totally exploited how people felt about Obama, the potential of the first woman president and how much of “fucking idiots” he believes many of them are, who ironically, ended up voting for him, even knowing that he said that.
However, Trump had issues on top of issues on top of issues. There are all his failed business, bankruptcies, tax evasions, affairs, and then that whole “grab her by the pussy” thing. Plus, he had no experience in politics.
But that didn’t matter. People used that to say that he “told it like it is” and that he “wasn’t politically correct.” Trump jumped all over that. Then came the lies about Hillary Clinton and people, not wanting another dreaded “first,” just bought it. Trump knew this would happen. So he just kept going.
To save from having to relive the last two years, let’s just fast forward to today. There aren’t enough words to describe where we are now as a country. Donald Trump is arguably a large reason for this. Now people are comfortable with being openly racist (as they are even saying, on video, that they don’t care that they are being recorded), openly sexist, making excuses for Russia interfering in our elections and most recently, not wanting all the votes to be counted for these midterm elections.
Aside from people straight-up saying that they support and love Trump, and that they will support and defend everything he says and does, I’m not sure where anyone would get that Trump was responsible. After all, he did call Mexicans “drug dealers, criminals and rapists,” he classified Muslims as “terrorists,”he treated Puerto Rico as second class citizens upon visiting there after Hurricane Maria last year, he refuses to denounce White Nationalism, and he called black NFL players “sons of bitches” who “should be fired” for exercising their First Amendment rights.
So I’m not seeing how this could possibly be Donald Trump’s fault. Not at all.
To say the least, there have been many fights and broken friendships over politics and largely Trump these days.
Which brings me to (I know…finally) the picture I have above.
So the implication here is that those who post this are too “mature” to stop being friends with someone over his or her political stance, of course, as many others have done. YOU are the “adults,” right?
Let me tell you why you are adding to the problem.
For starters, the passive-aggressive tone here alone takes away the “maturity” that you feel comes with thinking you are an adult and others are not just because you choose to stay friends with people you don’t agree with politically. See, the mindset is that you are so much more “mature” than others, but how does a person SO mature still find this way to judge someone for who they voted for?
How? To say “I’ll still be your friend…” implies that the person obviously did something wrong, but you will “excuse” it, because you are an adult. The problem with this is that as an “adult,” you would be accepting of this person without even having to bring that up. You’re basically taking a jab at that person and then trying to “clean it up” by implying a sort of forgiveness for them going against what you believe. That would be like me saying to my daughter, “Yeah, I will still love you, even if you marry that piece of shit.”
No hidden meanings there at all, right?
Another problem is simply that we are politically in a different time than we once were. The reason I mentioned everything before this is that it was a lot easier to “agree to disagree” about politics back then; at least as far as I could tell. I could be wrong. But today, it is about FAR more than just the day-to-day politics.
I haven’t heard of too many instances back in the day where people ended friendships over politics. I’m sure it may have happened, but certainly not like today.
Now the quote in this picture would not even be needed if the potential reason for ending a friendship wasn’t suspect. In other words, I wouldn’t have to say “I’ll still be your friend…” if there wasn’t something going on that I didn’t like or agree with.
Trumps behavior = “something going on that I didn’t like or agree with”
Now I get that many of the arguments between political parties have gotten very intense. And yes, some of those who are against Trump have been extreme in expressing their displeasure as well, which I absolutely do not agree with (not that that matters now).
You have the right to be or not be friends with whoever you choose. But it goes without saying that Trump, his administration and Republicans in general are damaging this country. If you choose to remain friends with people despite supporting that, that’s your business.
However, it is wrong to put down those who choose to speak up against all the wrongdoing, corruption, blatant racist and sexist behavior, disrespect toward women, people of color AND troops, not to mention all the outright lies that are being told, along with the support of White Nationalists and physical attacks on journalists simply doing their jobs. It is asinine to passive-aggressively attack those who choose not to engage with people who support this behavior, even to the point of them choosing not to remain friends with them.
Much of what Trump has said and done are NOT “agree to disagree” offenses. These are not things that can or should be overlooked or just passed over. Not all of us are okay with just remaining friends with someone who is all right with people of color being mistreated, with journalists being physically attacked and Trump applauding it, or even with women coming forward with sexual assault claims, as Republicans laugh at and put them down, rather than respecting the accusation(s) and conducting necessary investigations.
And for you to act as though you are the epitome of the “adult” because you can let all this slide, is ludicrous. No. You are simply choosing to ignore the problem or low-key agreeing with all or most that Trump says and does. (Yes, the classic “problems on both sides” response. We’re hip to that one too.)
What this boils down to is simply this. As a black man, if someone who looks like me being shot for no reason other than race is NOT a deal-breaker for you, we cannot be friends.
If a woman in my family comes forward with a rape accusation and your first impulse is to say she is lying, along with supporting the President of the United States in doing the same, we cannot be friends.
If White Supremacists rallying and protesting in the name of what all they stand for and that is not a deal-breaker to you, we cannot be friends.
If the president encourages and praises physical assaults on journalists doing their jobs and that is not a deal-breaker for you, we cannot be friends.
I can go on and on and on.
The point is, many of us DO have standards. And while a picture like this with this quote attached might help you to feel “superior” to others just because you don’t care enough about what’s going on in the country or your “bubble” allows you some protection from it, please do not consider yourself to be an “adult” because of it.
A post like this does nothing to bring the country together. It simply declares “superiority” over those who do not think like you do or react to something in the same manner.
Because ignoring what could be grave issues that affect everyone doesn’t make you an adult. Speaking up against them and standing up for those who cannot speak and stand for themselves, is.
Again, we all have the right to be friends with who we choose. But there is a big difference between remaining friends with someone who likes a different football team than you, and remaining friends with someone who supports among many horrible things, racism, sexism, White Supremacy, and bigotry.
Because quite frankly, if you don’t have enough of a problem with those issues, especially as they come from the supposed leader of our country, then you are the last person who is in any position to imply that you are more of an “adult” than someone else.