Why can’t I talk about my political beliefs?

Political views: everybody has them, but not everybody likes to talk about them, especially with family, friends and even just acquaintances.

If your extended family is anything like mine, then almost everyone has a different political view.

Some are conservative, some are moderate, and some, like me, lean a little bit more liberal.

Because of this, talking about politics can be extremely awkward and, as part of the younger generation, we’re the ones expected to keep the peace.

But why is it like that? Why is it okay for older uncles to rant about their racist views but if you speak up you’re the one disturbing the peace?

The ‘no politics talk’ rule is often enforced at our family gatherings.

But some topics that they don’t see being political, I do.

To some of them their views are just a part of their religion, but the second I refute it, it’s suddenly political.

This rule has been a hard one for me to follow, especially during this election. It was the first one I was able to vote in and one that taught me what exactly my beliefs are.

Up until this election I naively thought everyone shared similar beliefs. I care about people.

It’s as simple as that. I want whatever is best for the people I love and care about.

Because of this I found myself in a lot of fights this past year. These usually ended with me upset and not being able to look at friends or family members the same way anymore.

In my head this election was about human rights, because it was.

This election was one filled with hate, prejudice and racism, three things I could never get behind.

While I don’t believe President Joe Biden was the best option, I believe settling for him was in everyone’s best interest and I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed in vocalizing that.

I shouldn’t have to bite my tongue when my “political views” are just making sure that my LGBTQ+ friends aren’t refused healthcare.

I shouldn’t have to stop what I’m saying when I’m just trying to explain why the Black Lives Matter movement is important and the All Lives Matter movement is racist.

To me these things shouldn’t be political views, they should be basic human decency.

And I should be able to voice my opinion without getting shut down or being told this isn’t the time for politics. Because it isn’t just politics. It’s human lives.

I’m sick of every Trump supporter being able to flash their Trump 2020 flags and masks in my face without any repercussions but I can’t even say Black Lives Matter.

My views aren’t political and neither are theirs. My views are human rights and theirs are racist. So why am I the one expected to maintain the peace?

With the election over, you’d assume this would all be behind us, but it isn’t.

The hate that caused these problems is still very much alive in our country and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Because of that, I don’t feel like keeping the peace is an option anymore.

Our country has come too far to let hate win now.

People having access to health care isn’t political.

People being able to trust the police isn’t political.

Your hate isn’t political, it’s indecent.

And I won’t stop saying it.

I’m done being quiet (not that I was exactly silent before) because I’m a woman or because I’m young and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I know that everyone deserves basic human decency and that no one should be refused health care for any reason. And that’s really all I need to know.

I don’t care about your feelings or if I hurt them by telling the truth.

I’m glad Trump is gone but the problems aren’t.

The best way to fight the hate is by telling the truth and standing up for those who can’t, and that includes with family members and friends.

These people very rarely know what struggles women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community face.

Until they do, I’m done hearing their opinions.

Alyssa McMillan

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