I liked you better when I knew less about you. Now that I know what I know I have to go. Sorry but I can’t carry on, I don’t want to be guilty by association. I don’t want to be your enemy, but I can’t be your friend. Allow me to explain.
These are polarizing times indeed. It’s a zero-sum game out there and you’re either with us or against us, it’s black or white, friend or enemy, there is no compromise. We did it to ourselves with politics and propaganda, we’ve split into teams, or more like opposing armies; too bad so few realize it’s all us versus us.
Purposely polarized politics has laid bare the true hearts of hypocrites, liars, racists and rubes. Your ignorance and hatred has always been there, but it’s been closeted and hidden away until an agreeable political party emboldened you. What was once whispered among the like-minded now has a bullhorn, and the levers of power, and it’s OK now to express your hate. Apparently you’ve always been like this, and now that you’re comfortable expressing it, now I know. I can’t change you, but I don’t have to associate with you either.
I’m just fine with ending friendships or other relationships over ‘politics.’ In today’s world ‘politics’ exposes ones’ personal truths and those truths are often toxic, ill-informed and hateful. I can’t be a party to hate.
Once I disagreed with a friend about a war that didn’t need to be fought. He vehemently told me I “hated America” and hung up the phone without discussion or debate. He never justified his position and I never called him back. Once I knew his true heart, continuing any sort of friendship would have been disingenuous on my part. I don’t want to be a fake friend. And I don’t want to fight because I know any ‘fight’ or ‘debate’ would accomplish nothing, so I walked away from that ‘friendship.’
There was a time I would have let that slide and would have filed his warmongering enthusiasm away in the recesses of my brain but I’m too old now to feign acceptance of his mindset. (Read my blog entry, ‘Now that I’m officially old.’) I’m not desperate for friends and will no longer tolerate the inadequacies of others just to have someone around. I’d rather be alone, happy and comfortable, than be in a ‘friendship’ with someone who makes me uncomfortable and unhappy because I know that, secretly, they hate [fill in the blank: Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks, Liberals, et al].
I’ve had to end another longtime friendship recently. It’s painful to have do this but to protect myself against his toxicity, I’ve got to go. Please note that here and in the opening paragraph I wrote I have to go. I never asked anyone to change because I know they won’t. I won’t argue or ‘debate’ these things with them because, again, they won’t hear it. It’s on me. I will go. I ask nothing from them except, now that I know your true heart, please leave me alone, I am not like you.
The thing is, for this one, I’d let his subtle racist remarks slide by over the years. When he’d called African-Americans ‘those people’ it made me uncomfortable, but I let it go. I didn’t say anything. Maybe he didn’t mean that in a racist way? Later, when he blamed an uptick in local crime on ‘the Blacks’ I was pretty sure he had racist tendencies but I let that go too. But I guess I didn’t really let it go because those statements got filed away in the recesses of my mind as part of my ‘personality profile’ of the guy. Still, to keep the friendship, I let his past remark slide again and said nothing to him, but I was becoming more and more uncomfortable feeling that the guy’s true nature wasn’t something I really cared to have in my life. His third strike came when he went after President Obama on social media. He hated the ex-President although he never stated just why. He never wrote, “I dislike Obama because of this or that policy,” his statements were just typical Obama-hatred. When I read his words I was left to conclude that his Obama problem was not about policy since he’d mentioned none, but rather either Obama’s Democratic Party affiliation or the color of his skin. (And I already knew he didn’t like Democrats or Liberals or Progressives.) This all created an uncomfortable conflict in me (cognitive dissonance) and I had to take a mental step back and carefully, critically, analyze his words and his meaning. Critical, dispassionate thought and analysis is important and useful. Sadly the confirmation bias crowd eschews critical thought. But I don’t and I thought about it a lot. Reluctantly I came to the only conclusion I could based on his past statements his online Obama-hatred that is he’s probably a racist.
Probably is a passive word. I never called him a racist specifically although I do believe he’s a casual racist. ‘Casual racism’ is a kind of subtle, commonplace racism that has become normalized and is infused into society unconsciously. I feel that casual racism is actually worse than overt racism because the casual racist does not believe they are racist. The casual racist, like my ex-friend, does not even recognize the effect of their words and beliefs because they are commonplace and normalized. They’re never called out for their subtle racism and they never critically analyze their quietly racist points-of-view. This happens because they, mostly, associate with groups of like-minded people. Within their closed-loop of casual racist buddies everyone agrees, so calling someone a racist epithet doesn’t even register. It’s only when the casual racist says something offensive to someone outside their group, who they think agrees with them but doesn’t do problems occur. Usually and ironically when the outsider speaks up and disagrees with them the group labels the disagreeable one an asshole!
Ultimately I did make a comment to one of his anti-Obama statements that quickly led to the disintegration of our friendship. I commented, “I get that a lot from racists.”
I’d hoped that “I get that a lot…” would initiate one of those discussions we’re so loathe to have and he would defend and define just what he meant… but it didn’t. Again, he never expressed, “I dislike Obama because of…” He only expressed his unqualified hatred. I’d hoped he would have tried to explain how I misconstrued his anti-Obama statement. But he identified himself as a racist by reacting in anger –as if he’d been found out. He chose to become angry, made some of the typical “I’m not a racist!” statements (because casual racists never consider their own racism) and unfriended and blocked me. All the while likely thinking I’m the asshole! I was left thinking: What’s wrong with me? Am I such a bad judge of character? What kind of person are you? And, by association with you, what kind of person am I?
OK, fine. Too bad. At least it’s done now. I will not compromise my morals or ethics.
And now we have ‘Supreme Leader Trump’ in all his orange glory aiding, abetting and emboldening every racist, misogynist, dumbfuck to go ahead and gleefully express their pent-up hatred --it’s OK because the ‘President’ is one of them!
With an Obama-hating President and an Obama-hating Republican party that protects and empowers the Hateful Cheeto it’s no wonder my ex-friend is perfectly comfortable putting his anti-Obama nonsense on Facebook. Except he didn’t figure on one thing: not all of his ‘friends’ agree with him and I call BULLSHIT.
During the run-up to the 2016 election and afterwards I’ve had to unfriend a lot of people, including most of my high-school graduating class, because of their politics. Normally I would never unfriend or discontinue a friendship simply over politics –but we’re no longer living in ‘normal’ political times. Now I find it easy (and relieving) to unfriend and avoid ‘Republicans.’ The simple reason for this is now, when one identifies as ‘Republican’ it means something different than a mere ‘conservative’ approach to government. ‘Republican’ now means they’re comfortable with a ‘leader’ who rapes women and mocks the disabled. They’re OK with imprisoning innocent little children refugees at the border. They’re cool with replacing National Parks with oil wells and uranium mines. Today’s Republican is just fine ‘criminalizing’ poverty-stricken employees while giving their low-paying employers tax cuts. They believe in such nonsense as ‘windmill cancer’ and think they’re tough when they yell at an American Indian to ‘go home.’ And they’ve made it cool to be racist again.
None of this stuff is positive, it’s all bad and I want nothing at all to do with any one of you. I don’t share your beliefs and hatred, I don’t want to be like you, and I’d rather not associate with you. You’re toxic and any ‘friendship’ with you is demeaning to me.
Those of you who identify as Conservative, Christian or Republican need to take a long, hard look at what you’re advocating because all of it is BAD. It’s not true conservatism and it’s not true Christianity. We know that when you’re among your like-minded friends you don’t have to justify yourself but if you want to play in the big, real world you can’t just yell “Libtard!” and walk away. You can’t yell, “Fake News!” when your opinion is opposite the facts. You’re going to have to justify your positions and if you can’t do that you really should shut the fuck up.
You may be a member of the loudest chorus but that does not mean you’re in the majority.
Ending the friendship is on me and I accept responsibility for my misjudgment you, but I don’t owe you an apology, I thought you were better but you’re actually worse.
January 1, 2020