Today I had a conversation with a colleague about the election, she explained to me why she voted for Donald Trump, I don’t have a problem with anyone that votes for someone or something they believe in (that’s what makes America the country that it is FREEDOM) and I try not to make judgement calls on their character, especially if I’m not invested emotionally in a person. I had the conversation because I’m interested what makes others tick and in understanding others perspectives that differ from mine, learning is a beautiful thing and we can learn a ton if we just opened a dialogue with one another and truly listened.
In our twenty minute conversation that covered the election, #BlackLivesMatter versus “Blue Lives Matter”, racism and racial injustice and inequality what stood out to me most is that people choose to believe what they believe in and will find any reason to justify separation and distinction. She didn’t understand why I felt that the police choose to be cops they can remove their uniforms and not be attacked for being cops (in her mind a year or so of the police being targeted violently for being cops is comparable to poc being harassed and killed by cops for decades) because people don’t look at them without their uniforms and assume that they are cops, but people of color have been subject to police harassment since the abolishment of slavery don’t have the privilege of removing their skin color at the end of the day, we agreed to disagree. She’s empathetic to people “like” her and while that’s ridiculous it’s her prerogative.
Some people just don’t want to relate to others simply because they have to, it’s something logical openminded people who can have empathy for the pain of others no matter what color, class, religion or sexual orientation put into practice daily. But for some reason people she and other like minded people choose not to understand purposely. Her lack of understanding didn’t anger me instead it made me sad, because I knew in her mind there was justification (because she has family members that are cops so she’s more inclined to empathize with them) for every person of color who has been murdered at the hands of the police. I even expressed to her that there is no innate level of aggression that black and brown possess that makes us more dangerous than anyone else and that perception and deep rooted fear/guilt of what “they” claim not to be able to understood is the culprit. This was hard for her to believe.
It’s sad that privilege and white supremacy has made it so that people can choose not to relate to other people because it’s beneficial for them not to. No matter how much I made sense she and people who think like she does will never relate, because it’s so much better for them not to…