Since I decided to become an activist about a year ago, I've encountered numerous odd, uh, individuals (to use a polite word and establish a polite post) who are bound and determined to impede human rights at all costs, something which, frankly, confuses me. For example, I'm not really sure what standing in the way of immigrants' rights gets you. And I've heard my fair share of racism and classism against immigrants to come to the conclusion that certain people are motivated by ignorance alone. Usually, when characterizing one's enemies, one tends to make them motivated by evil or greed or an unhealthy need for control because it is just easier to feel righteous that way. I've found that in many cases it is not correct to assume that people are motivated by hatred (because they aren't always trolls) and more by ignorance. You truly have to be lacking in basic knowledge of a subject to believe that Mexicans come to the country to spread drugs, as though that is their life: bringing about the downfall of another country using illegal substances and not getting anything in return. And I use Mexicans specifically because, apparently, only immigrants coming in from "those" countries are trafficking drugs: no one complains about French immigrants or British immigrants.
I consider myself a liberal, though not Superliberal like Kailee. But I try to respect anyone's politics so much as they're not (a). ignorant or (b). bigoted. Usually, if one achieves decent erudition on a subject, then he or she is able to avoid bigotry. Generally, I support things that are pretty bipartisan: conservatives and liberals alike, for example, support peace in Darfur. That's a human thing, and I'm aware that liberal (or conservative) by American standards is actually rather moderate since there's no extreme this or that in this country that ever gains too much power, so calling myself a liberal is complicated at best.
I have been, in this past year, slapped with the dreaded "fauxgressive" label because I happen to be pro-life. Though I would like to point out that abortion is not my White Whale (Darfur is; it's just much harder to find information on Darfur so it's harder to find something to vocalize) and, while I have written about it (or, rather, am writing about it currently), I've never written an agenda story, or, a piece with activism in mind. I've written an essay about it that was intended to stand up for fetal rights and it features in a story that I'm writing now, albeit the story isn't about abortion or trying to make a statement about it. However, I think that my mother has taken this to mean that I'm obsessed with the topic. I care about it, but Darfur is still my Topic. With a capital "t." Like that.
Anyways, I've in my time heard some odd excuses for opposing human rights and would like my mom (the reader of this blog) to comment on whether or not she's had the same difficulties as I've had when explaining that polar bears don't drown because they're playing Dead but because of global warming:
- "Global warming? You seriously believe in global warming? Don't buy into that garbage. There's no such thing as carbon emissions. Global warming is natural and will settle itself come winter. Global warming is, after all, caused by the sun."
- "You're just anti-choice because you hate Holland."
- "Obama's gonna take my guns!"
- "I don't think that the government ought to get involved with things like healthcare or public stuff. Who knows if an illegal immigrant is going to use my tax dollars to get care or drive around on the road that I paid for."
- "I'll believe in global warming when the Earth's climate starts changing."
- "No, gays do not want rights because they want to avoid being beaten to death by people. They just want to fornicate. It has nothing do with protection."
I'm actually also sort of confused by global warming since that has nothing do with politics or human rights and if it makes you feel more inclined to acceptance, you could probably get rich off of eco-technology or t-shirts. They're all the rage.
May I please reiterate that it doesn't matter whether or not you're a conservative or a liberal. My best friend (Bug) is a conservative and she certainly doesn't oppose human rights- just the opposite: she's one of the kindest people I've ever met and is very well-informed of her choices and knows exactly where she stands and why; so this is not about politics. It's just about my experiences as a fledgling activist awash in a sea of stupidity.