For a few years now, there has been a call for “civility” or to just “be nice.” I’m seeing a lot of people asking for civility, specifically in politics (we could also go down the road of keeping politics out of policies, but I’m not quite prepared for that today). But there is a definite longing for the “good old days” when apparently everyone was civil in their discussions and you could have a conversation about politics without it devolving into a shouting match. Even though we were also told you didn’t discuss politics, religion or money in polite company.
This has rubbed me the wrong way for some time. The request seemed to come from a lot of the same folks who didn’t like Colin Kaepernick protesting police brutality by kneeling. These folks stated they didn’t have a problem with Colin protesting, only the WAY he was protesting. He needs to show some respect to the military, because I guess the national anthem and flag only belong to the military?
I’ve talked about this on Twitter. But my privilege has allowed me to sit on the sidelines for the most part, roll my eyes and tsk tsk at those who want to police the way people protest or argue, or those who just want to go back to the time when we took the offenses and said “that’s just the way it is.”
Then, when Jon and I interviewed Tina Marie and she mentioned her favorite movie is Road House (which I haven’t seen in AGES). After we recorded, she shared this meme from Roadhouse. And it hit me. This is the issue with the civility argument. It is no longer time to be nice.
When people start complaining about HOW someone protests or argues or talks about an issue, they are deflecting. When people tell BIPOC how they should complain, tell their story, “you need to be nicer to get people on your side,” they are simply policing what people are saying.
We are beyond the time to be nice. The issues people are complaining about are not things we can agree to disagree about. We can agree to disagree about political issues such as taxes, minimum wage, overtime regulations, trade agreements, immigration, public transportation, etc. What we cannot agree to disagree on is issues that are Human Rights: equal pay for equal work, police brutality, holding our leaders accountable, allowing 2 consenting adults to enter into a marriage contract
We need to stop complaining about how people are expressing their displeasure with the status quo and start looking at what is the real issue and let’s focus on that. If you can’t agree with that, feel free to unfriend or unfollow me.