With the presidential debate happening tonight I feel like I should say something before this all starts. If you’re reading this and you’re not from America, I should give fair warning that we are the Florida of the world. We set ourselves on fire and shoot ourselves in the foot and then say that we’re the best country ever.
This is not an America-bashing post. This is just an American blogger who’s thinks my country is missing a few braincells at times (especially during election year). I’m not a Republican and I’m not a Democrat. That’s the most I’m going to talk about politics because I’m doing my best to keep this blog controversy-free even in this ridiculously absurd environment. 2020 is crashing and burning and on top of it all we might see a reenactment of V for Vendetta on November 5th no matter who ends up winning.
I really want to keep this blog politics-free for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to enjoy. No hate, no judgement, no politics. This blog is for everyone and that means EVERYONE as long as you’re willing to keep an open mind.
Being transgender and a Jesus-follower has brought me to a kinda funky place on the political spectrum. I don’t need to go into detail. But the more I watch the news and the more I try to wrap my head around the insanity of this election, I’ve realized how unloving our society can be. We’re not focused on the well-being of other people anymore; we’re focused on being right.
When did we become so self-centered? It’s hardly about being correct and more about hating the other side. You can’t vote for a candidate to get the other one out of office and you can’t demonize and bash the other side for disagreeing with you. We’re humans. Sometimes uneducated, sometimes passionate, sometimes childish. We need to give people space to learn.
Cancel culture is alive and well in our society. If we find out a past history of racist comments about someone, we immediately cancel them. Their tv shows, their music, everything about them. But if those are past comments and they apologize for it, do we not offer forgiveness? The main focus is change but we delay that by demonizing them for past comments. I’m not in any way condoning racism but I’ve seen some Hollywood stars get cancelled for saying something transphobic or homophobic 10 years ago. Yes, they should be held accountable. No, they should not be maliciously punished and threatened for it (all things that Twitter has provided). They apologized. Move on. Offer forgiveness the way you’d want to be forgiven if you had said the same thing.
Cancel culture has a history of ineffectiveness. We can’t cancel people for a wrong statement in the past or else we all would be held accountable. It makes us hypocrites to say that their sin is greater than our own. I’ve said things in the past that I was too naïve to understand the consequences of. I already live with it, I would never want them exposed. And that’s not because I’m hiding them, it’s because in my conscious I know that they were wrong. I’ll be held accountable for these things at the end of my life anyway. I live with these mistakes forever. I hold them close so that it never happens again. While they might be hidden from everyone else, they’re not hidden from me. I’ve learned and realized those things were wrong and I keep them in the back of my mind so that they never happen again. Not in a guilty way do I hold them but in a way of keeping others in mind. (aka empathy. It doesn’t come easy.)
We need to leave room for people to grow. This includes racists. This includes “the other party”. This includes queerphobia (which is homophobia and transphobia). As a queer person myself, this has been a hard lesson learned. Demonizing someone has done nothing but make me angrier. It does nothing but make the other person more firm in their views.
Instead of cancelling, which would be the easiest thing to do, we need to have the tough conversations. If it’s a hard conversation to have, it’s an important one to have. We make thing harder on ourselves by not truly seeing the other person. We must walk a mile in their skin before we can truly understand why they believe the things they believe. Maybe it’s being naïve, maybe it’s something they experienced in the past. There’s no excuse for not educating ourselves and that also means educating ourselves about others.
So this election year maybe we can forget about who’s right and who’s wrong and remember that we’ll all humans. We’re all learning and growing and fixing our mistakes. Leave room for others to grow because issues in society can only be fixed if we look inward at ourselves before berating someone else. Remember to practice empathy.
And if you don’t feel like watching the presidential debate today, don’t worry. I don’t either.