I’m not on Facebook, so I cannot respond directly to my Democratic/Liberal friend’s post that initially stoked my ire and disappointment. Since that post, there have been numerous articles and Op-Eds calling for the People’s response to mass atrocities and inhumane actions to be more publicly “civil.” Yet, like my friend on Facebook, so many of the people calling for this are otherwise intelligent individuals with ginormous hearts. That is why I hold out hope that these words may be heard and considered with seriousness and openness by those who may not yet realize the negative repercussions of calling for the same “restraint.”
The Democrat’s current mantra of a “Return to Civility” is no different from Trump’s “Make America great again.” It’s a form of propaganda that can only be said with any seriousness by people with privilege; by people for whom these issues aren’t actually life and death. I find it to be both reckless and immensely harmful, even though I believe that is often the opposite of its intent. This misguided call for civility has recently been exemplified in this Washington Post article: Liberal hostility toward Trump aides could galvanize the GOP base and this L.A. Times Op-Ed: Making Trump officials miserable doesn’t accomplish anything. Vote them out if you want change.
Unfortunately, it’s the same mindset that allowed the majority of white Democrats to consider Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an “enemy of the State” and a “threat to Democracy” at the time of his assassination. It’s the same voice as those who thought the Vietnam war protests were a “formula for discord.” It’s the same privileged view that, in 1966, a Harris Poll revealed 54 percent of whites said that they would not march or protest if they “were in the same position as Negroes,” and two months later, in October 1966, that 85 percent of whites insisted that civil rights demonstrations hurt Negroes more than they helped (sound familiar?). By starting down this slippery slope, one ends up siding with the people who perpetuate oppression and atrocities while allowing oneself to feel as if you are fighting or resisting them, but from a more “dignified” place. What this unwittingly ensures is that there will be little-to-no consequence for politicians who commit atrocities. God forbid there should be “public” consequences, lifestyle consequences or discomfort. Continue reading “A Response To The Democratic Call For “Liberal Civility.””