“No room for politics” means no room for me

Hey, wypipo, I’m fixing to tell you some things your one _fill in the blank_ friend won’t. They’re tired, it’s been a hellish last four years and they do value your friendship, so they’re hoping you’ll self-correct soon.

Right now, whitedom is whining about “unity” and not pushing people away and, sure, I’ll think about forgiving and forgetting as soon as we find the families of those 600+ children who were separated from them at the border. Either that or when people start saying, unequivocally “Babies don’t belong in cages no matter what the circumstances and it was wrong of me to make excuses.” (Guess which one has a better chance of happening.)

And so, they’re slowly drifting back to their safe, politics-free zones…

Which means nothing like the literal meaning of the words. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to discuss how we govern ourselves as a society. It means we aren’t going to discuss the impact of being non-white, non-male, non-cis, non-straight, non-wealthy, non-Christian (or even non-religious) as it pertains to whatever the general topic happens to be.

It means no challenging someone who’s using religion to justify discrimination. Because that’s political!

No asking someone to please not use a slur. That’s political!

No requesting that the room not be addressed as “ladies.”

No explaining that a piece of hobby equipment that can be obtained for about $50 is not “cheap” for everyone.

No discussion about the impact of cultural appropriation on traditional craftspeople.

And definitely, don’t bring up accessibility.

All that stuff is just…so uncomfortable! It’s so much work! And look we just elected a female, Indian-American, Black vice president! It’s all good now! We’re post racial and all that stuff!

But no, my dear white people. The work needs to continue. And what are y’all doing?

You’re putting up the “Whites only” signs on your Facebook groups and your forums and your comments sections. Did we not go through this already? You’re just spelling it differently.

“No political discussions.”

“There is no room for politics.”

“This is a politics-free zone.”

Gardening, cooking, needlework, fashion, dogs, cats, iguanas… “have nothing to do with politics, so please don’t bring that vibe in here.”

What you’re saying is that you don’t have space for the totality of who I am. Kat is welcome, but only as long as she’s not Latina or disabled or prefers to talk about some things in Spanish….

What the hell is left? Am I even Kat at that point?

Think about the rules for communication in the spaces you frequent and ask who benefits from them. Who are you hurting by asking them not to fully express themselves? Who are you keeping comfortable at the expense of others?

As I have said before, this website is not a “politics-free” zone and it’s not a place where you have to leave pieces of yourself at the door and I’m committed to keeping it that way.

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Author: 5ftLatina

Kat is 5ftLatina. She is really 5' tall (and probably shrinking) and Latina. She is not actually a cactus, but she is both prickly and cute. Mr. 5ft is actually married to Kat, but is not 5' tall or Latina. He is also not a form of plant life.

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Linda F.
Linda F.
5 months ago

I’m with you 100% on this, ! Why are we coddling these people, instead of calling them out?

Here’s a Huffpost article that expresses what I’ve been feeling:

No, I Will Not Be “Reaching Out” to Trump Voters, Now or Ever. Here’s Why”