I was discussing the 2016 U.S. election with a friend yesterday (*finger guns*), and I expressed my internal conflict between my idealism and my pragmatism. I can still see the merits of both the people refusing to support Hillary Clinton and those saying we need to keep Trump out of the White House at all costs. I have friends on both sides, and honestly I'm scared for some of them.
I remain privileged in race and ability. I'm scared that some of my friends may find themselves without necessary medical care or the ability to afford the things they need to survive without the Affordable Care Act in place. I'm afraid for my LGBTQP+ friends and their emotional health under a Trump/Pence administration. I'm also scared of the long term effects of the person that would be installed as the fifth conservative Supreme Court Justice.
I also can't tell people to vote against their principles. I just can't. Especially when some of those people are black or perhaps Guatemalan and Hillary Clinton is partially or directly responsible for horrible violence that has plagued their entire lives.
I can, however, tell my fellow white cishet able-bodied people that this isn't about you. And men in that category, especially, this election is not about you. Because you won't be affected in the same way that others will. Your lives aren't on the line. Stop using people of color to defend your hatred of Hillary because Trump/Pence are just as bad, only for different reasons. And stop telling people of color about how much Trump/Pence hate people of color and are supported by the actual KKK because they already fucking know. They're not naive. They're not unaware. They probably know better than you how racist those two are.
My stance remains that privileged people need to keep quiet on subjects in which their privilege applies. For white people, in yet another very white election, it's a time for us to listen and learn and stand up to other white people who are being assholes to people of color and acting like they don't understand the stakes.
The problem in this election is not that some people on the left side of the aisle don't want to vote for Hillary Clinton even in the face of a Trump presidency. The problem is that our country is in a place where Trump could be nominated in the first place. Focus on fighting white supremacy rather than telling people of color to vote for Hillary. Focus on fighting for decent healthcare in this nation rather than telling chronically ill and disabled people that they're shills for voting for Hillary. I've always been an advocate for addressing the root of the problem. Nothing else solves problems.
Credit for this idea goes to Ijeoma Oluo.