By Emilee Edwards | Photographer
This week on Instagram, a graphic was shared by many people stating that people should maintain their friendships with others regardless of their viewpoint on the presidential candidates. The politically-correct response in arguments regarding political candidates has always been “agree to disagree”.
There is no point in doing that anymore. There is no reason to continue being friends with others who have different views on human rights issues. When an election is so divided and one candidate has fueled hatred, racism and misogyny for four years now, there is no reason to spend time with people who do not agree with respecting people of other races, genders or backgrounds.
Human and civil rights issues should have never been made political, but they are now. We have watched the president encourage hate groups to continue practicing their racism and white supremacy openly, we have heard him call Black men thugs.
Donald Trump’s campaign has repeatedly become the face of white supremacy — it has emboldened racist people to become loud about the racism they used to hide. The president of the United States refused to denounce white supremacy in the first debate with Joe Biden. There is no reason to continue being friends with people who believe that it is OK to harm disenfranchised groups over and over.
When a presidential election is so completely split on moral issues, there is no way that you can continue being friends with people who do not have any care for human rights.
You are incredibly privileged to be able to disregard someone’s political opinions when choosing to be friends with them. There are many things you can disagree with your friends about, but whether or not a group of people deserves respect and equality is not one of them.
This goes for either side of the spectrum politically, but when people who are on the left choose to associate with people who do not believe that racism and disregard for people of color are not deciding factors when voting in a presidential election, then you have to check your privilege. Being able to associate with people who disagree with you on human rights issues means that politics and those issues do not directly affect you.
You cannot claim to be an ally to marginalized groups, then turn around maintain relationships with people who vote in a way that would hurt those groups. This has the same energy as posting a black square on Instagram while still voting for racist politicians. As a human, you have no obligations to continue being friends or in relationships with people who do not care about human rights.