I mean, wasn’t there a time where people could disagree without it turning into a brawl? Did I imagine this time of peaceful and respectful dialogue among opposing perspectives?
Maybe social media is to blame…
Ok, let me unpack this thing. It is not necessary for us to agree on everything, but we should respect each other. There are gray areas to almost every issue…almost.
It’s OK for us to have our own thoughts and feelings about the issues of the day. We should be able to express those feelings in a way that is smart and respectful without the fear of being verbally, and sometimes, physically assaulted from someone who does not see it that way.
Take me for example. I try to develop my opinion about things based off the facts of a situation. I can agree with one politician on one issue, and disagree with him/her on several others. I can totally dislike a politician as a person, but agree with their view on foreign policy if it makes sense to me and my beliefs.
I’m concerned though. I am concerned that my daughters will live in a country where they cannot have their own opinions and thoughts. I’m concerned that I can’t have a conversation with people because I have different viewpoints about the world, politics, etc.
You probably gathered from the home page that I am a black man, with a gorgeous black wife and 2 beautiful black daughters.
Now get this…I DON’T CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A DEMOCRAT…
My personal thoughts about the Democratic Party is that the politicians in the Democratic Party, for the most part, look at people as “Voting Blocks”. They come to black people during elections and say “I’m here for you”. Well, I don’t buy it. I really think Democrats and Liberals largely look at someone like me and think that I, a black man, am incompetent and can’t navigate life. They think that black people need them because they happen to be the party that champions social programs that help people when they are down. Yes, those programs have their place and do help people that need them. I have had to use unemployment benefits before and was grateful for that program. However, don’t use these programs to attempt to convince me that I can’t do for me and mine when I know full well that I am both intellectually and mentally capable of doing it. Don’t use these programs and your “platforms” to tell me that I can’t be successful without you because I will prove you wrong every time. I think most Democratic politicians want black people and other people of color in this country to feel obligated to them because they claim to care about us. I don’t owe them nothing because my help comes from the Almighty, not politicians. I am an educated, melanated man of God.
So now there is a slow shift by Democratic politicians to other people of color because more and more black people are starting to see them for what they are. It’s obvious because they are now looking at other groups, such as Hispanics and immigrants from Muslim countries.
My wife and I have worked very hard for everything we have. We both earned advanced degrees, I served and continue to on a part-time basis, serve this country and we have plans to start our own businesses in the coming years. I don’t need the help now, but even if I did, shouldn’t it come with no strings attached?
Now, you are probably reading this and think I am Republican or Conservative.
NOPE. I DON’T CLAIM THEM EITHER.
My opinion is that the Republican Party largely discounts black people and other people of color from the jump. You see, on the flip side of their illustrious colleagues, they will snatch those programs that are needed most by not only people of color, but anyone that is in need of assistance. They tend to largely just disregard people of color, which is why they struggle to get the majority of people of color to vote for them on a widespread basis. They have a difficult time producing candidates that appeal more as an individual and not the R beside their name.
This is why I have come to vote for the individual, not their party affiliation because the truth is, the parties are two sides of the same tattered and dented coin. Have you seen the approval number for Congress lately?
The world is not black and white. There are gray areas. I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment, but tend to lean pro-choice. I am a Christian, but don’t condemn same sex-couples. As a black man, I am very worried about the increase in race-related shootings by police, but I am saddened when a good cop is killed just because he or she is a cop. I don’t agree with Colin Kaepernick’s protest last season, but will argue against anyone with his right to do so. See? Gray areas…
Now, I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are exceptions to my opinion about the political parties of this country. I know some people that are really cool and happen to be Republican, but I have come across some pretty bigoted Republicans, as well. On the other hand, I know some Democrats that think I’m helpless and I know others that are outstanding people.
The point is this…we should be able to disagree, have a conversation about it and get a beer afterwards. It’s not like that with some people. They can’t see past their opinions to see that it is OK if someone sees things differently. Some will commit acts of violence against another just because that person sees things in a different way. How many of us have unfriended or unfollowed people we considered friends for a long time just because they so vehemently disagreed with our opinions. How many unfriended us?
The sooner we realize that it is fine to have a difference in ideas and opinions, the sooner I will stop being concerned for my little girls. Look at the people who just went through the biggest natural disaster to hit the US. Political ideas, skin color and religious beliefs were put to the side so that neighbors could help each other. Texans helped Texans regardless of opposing viewpoints. Remember, this happened only a few days after the race violence in Charlottesville, VA.
At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy and live our lives. I still hope, out of all things, we can at least agree on that.