The Political is Personal—and yes I am judging you on your politics.
Usually, mid-term elections are quiet and come and go without much to consider (other than the fact that I live in the largest state [size wise] but with the lowest voter turnout in the nation). However, the national spotlight was turned south, as a caravan of Honduran migrants broke through the Mexican border, set on making its way to the U.S. This, in turn, stirred Trump to call for a potential border closing and sending 800 troops to the border. After that, bombs were sent to prominent Democrats from a radical Trump supporter from Florida. Last week, two Black people were murdered after a man failed to shoot Black churchgoers, and an anti-Semite killed 11 elderly practitioners.
Shortly after the shooting, some prominent voices heralded that the only way to end hate is with love. I have always had a problem accepting this idea. There was something that felt off-kilter in this sentiment. I thought maybe it was because I wanted to stew in my negative feelings without guilt in doing so. Or why should anger from someone who has been attacked be stifled? I never knew how I felt about this until I saw a post from @bad_dominicana and then I saw a similar sentiment from my friend about relationships being more important than politics. And you know what, let those people be angry and shun those who have chosen to harm a group of people physically. Physical and emotional duress is once again asked to be burdened upon marginalized groups. Eat shit and smile until you can change their heart is essentially what victims are told. It is hard to “love” someone when your existence is threatened every day. And this is not a paranoid delusion when hate crimes have sharply increased over the past two years, Jewish people being the most targeted group. And if you deny that this correlated to Trump's rhetoric, you are wrong, buddy.
What I am not saying is that those who have chosen violence should be given a cold middle-finger and stuffed into the recesses of a dark corner. But what I am saying is that it is not up to those who have been put in the crosshairs to “love” their attackers. And this is the same for putting politics aside to save a relationship, whether a family member, partner or neighbor. When you come from a community that has been reduced to being called animals, and treated as such (there are still fucking children in fucking cages!) there is no way that you can ask them to sit there and be polite as someone boasts Ted Cruz, or any Trump-supported republican when the majority in that party are trying to eradicate your existence and any possible voice and power that you may have with it.
Political affiliation is the first indicator as to what a person believes. And I cannot sit comfortably next to someone who chooses to vote for a party that is trying to widen the divide in the country. Trump’s calling for unity is forced and disingenuous, no matter how many times his speechwriter tells him to say it; his policies and impromptu rhetoric say otherwise. And single-issue voters are just as damaging too. Those voters are willing to let bad behavior slip because of one issue, and it's usually those issues (immigration, abortion) that are being used to distract from other significant topics.
The political is personal, and I will not put “politics” aside to avoid awkwardness. To ask a marginalized person to put politics aside is asking to put their whole person on hold, and history has already forced them to do that. So don't be surprised if I give you some side-eye if you say you voted one way, because you're voting to keep the status quo in power, and I want to disrupt it.