You don’t have to be friends with people who vote against your rights, even on social media.
Throughout this election, I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about how you shouldn’t block people on social media or quit being friends with people because of who they voted for, but I don’t believe that is true at all.
Would you be friends with someone who doesn’t care about your needs and rights? Would you be friends with someone who continually posts on social media about how you don’t deserve the same rights as everyone else and supports politicians who can take away those rights? No, you wouldn’t. Yet, this is the reality for many people.
This election is unlike any other. One party’s official platform discusses the desire to take away rights of certain people groups. You can debate and say this isn’t true, but the official platform of the Republican party has explicit statements that prove so. Pages 31 and 32 of the platform talk about reversal of the Supreme Court’s 2015 definition of marriage, which legalized gay marriage. The party seeks to redefine marriage as between a man and a woman, leaving LGBT individuals vulnerable to losing their right to marry.
The same pages further discuss removing policies that prevent businesses from declining to serve or sell to people because of their sexual orientation, as well as policies that prevent adoption agencies from letting same-sex couples to adopt.
In addition to these human rights violations, the administration also aims to restrict immigration into the country, particularly to refugees. In the United States, the president sets the number of asylum seekers that are allowed each year, and current President Donald Trump has set the number at a low 15,000 for the 2021 fiscal year. In a time where over 26 million people are refugees, over half of those being kids. America should be at the forefront of seeking to remedy this problem. Instead, this administration seeks to reduce the already small number of refugees allowed into the United States.
Page 26 of the platform also discusses elimination of sanctuary cities, which are legal under the Constitution. While people tend to think sanctuary cities harbor fugitives, sanctuary cities by definition are cities that limit local volunteer resources to help federal immigration programs, meaning they deny excessive use of resources beyond what is required by law to aid federal immigration workers. The Republican platform seeks to deny these cities federal funding, despite their status as a “sanctuary city” being completely legal.
After the murder of George Floyd in the spring, the country was once again forced to focus on police brutality and racial disparity in America. Mayor Anthony Williams, former Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge, ACU President Phil Schubert and ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison have all made statements discussing the reality of police brutality especially against people of color. If community leaders in one of the most conservative voting cities in the United States can admit to the problem and discuss solutions, why can’t the president of the United States or a majority of his party? With a president that refuses to admit that Black and Hispanic Americans face disparities that white Americans don’t, even in 2020, it is clear that racial issues and murders by police are not a concern for the Republican party.
The ACU community prides itself on being diverse. Diversity is good and necessary, and you should have friends with diverse opinions and political stances.
You can disagree on the federal minimum wage, tax increases or cuts, and methods of solving national debt. Those are political opinions that you can disagree on. If your friends don’t believe in your rights as a person of color, an immigrant/refugee or a member of the LGBT community, you do not have to be friends with them. That isn’t diversity of opinion; that’s a lack of agreement on human rights.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with blocking family members and friends who voted for a party that wants to take away your right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. In fact, I think you’ll find it is much better for your mental health to do so.