Friday, April 22, 2016

The Privilege of NOT Talking Politics


As the world of politics gets nastier and nastier, I’ve been more and more inclined to just ignore it all.  Write it off.

For one thing, I simply can’t keep up with the constant barrage of news and the associated political spin.  What is my source for “unbiased news”?

But more than that, I’m tired of the “my tribe is better” power struggle.  Let "them" hash it all out.  “The future of our country” narrative, I tend to believe, is largely fear based manipulation because fear provokes action and rallies supporters quicker and more effective than calls for patience and the common good.  Civility has all but vanished.  I find myself getting caught up in the spirit of anger.

It’s not that I don’t have opinions.  I do, and I try to make them informed opinions.

But there is a sense in which stepping away from the circus is a realistic option for me.  Don’t mishear me.  It’s not that I exist outside the world of politics.  But there is a degree to which it can be compartmentalized.  I can lay it down and pick it up as is convenient.  I don’t say that with pride.

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As the same time as the political world descends into chaos, I’ve been coming to an awareness of the privilege that I’ve enjoyed throughout my life.  My "success" cannot be reduced to "hard work" alone.  I’ve been given SO many opportunities and I’m increasingly able to recognize the political side of that.

So when Science Mike said this on Episode 34 of The Liturgists Podcast entitled “Black and White: Racism in America”, it stung.

“I’ve been learning that the ability to NOT talk politics is an embodiment of what some would call privilege…..”

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I think he’s right.

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