Dear Privileged Friends,
I write this note to make a simple request: please care. And act like you care. And ideally, care about more than just yourself, because caring only about yourself is selfish. Some are already doing this; if so, this note is not for you.
We are in what might be one of the greatest turning points in history. I can’t predict the future, but it feels pretty poignant today.
We’re in the middle of a global pandemic that has shone a light on how broken, fragile, and unfair our economy and health care and supply chains are.
We’re having one of the largest reckonings with racial injustice in history.
Our environmental health is deteriorating and will challenge every aspect of our collective well-being if we ignore it.
In the United States, we have a President who is threatening our democracy by (at the very least) doing his best to suppress voting by effectively trying to eliminate vote by mail when thousands of voting precincts will likely be closed due to pandemic. Further, people are stuck at home for fear of the mass spread of a virus, serious illness and potentially death, and many don’t have access to the few voting locations available.
If voting by mail isn’t palatable, he must provide a reasonable alternative. Simply suppressing voting by limiting it to those with the privilege to show up at voting locations and wait in long lines undermines the very foundation of our democracy.
Right now, we have so much at stake and have an opportunity to set the stage for something so much better.
The Privilege To Be Apolitical
If you have the privilege to be apolitical or uninterested in the current events of our time, it’s because you have such privilege that you feel practically “untouchable” by public policy and global events. Among other things, this is an indication that you likely have great wealth and influence. A wealth of resources (be it time, money, influence, or otherwise) is closely tied to the privilege to be apolitical.
If you have the privilege of being apolitical and not caring about the events of our country and our world right now, that is the first indication that you especially have a civic duty to step up, learn, and do something because you have power, resources, and influence.
As such, if you “don’t care” about the current events of the day in this potentially pivotal moment in history, I implore you to reflect on the privilege you have and that which you are squandering.
I know you’re “busy” with work, and life, and raising kids, and showing up in your own life. But so is everyone else. There’s too much at stake right now to sit back. And quite frankly, even your privilege might be at stake if our democracy, our health, and our environment are at risk.
I’ve Been There
I’ve been there. Up until a few years ago, I didn’t care. I deplored politics and “all the scumbags” who took political positions. In my opinion, political positions are still filled with a lot of crummy people with ulterior motives. Not all, of course, but too many. That’s all the more reason though why we need to step up and do something to change that.
I have the privilege of not caring because I have the resources and skin color to avoid most of the injustice. But this is not ethical or moral in my opinion. If you have these resources, it’s time to step up, to learn, to vote, to advocate, and to protect those who are marginalized.
There’s No Such Thing As A Single Issue Vote
And if you’re a ‘single issue voter’, it’s time to learn about the other issues. There are so many major issues like the pandemic and the economy, racial justice, and environmental matters (for starters); a single issue vote does not exist. If you make your decision based on one issue, so be it. But acknowledge that you’re also actively voting for everything else for which that person stands.
You do not have a choice to vote pro-Trump economics without voting pro-Trump the person and all the racism, misogyny, and divisiveness that are integral parts of his platform. You don’t get to vote pro-Biden without also voting in support of Black Lives Matter, higher spending on social welfare programs, and environmental justice.
If you’re apolitical or a single issue voter at this point, you’re choosing to be ignorant at such great cost.
We are humans. Our humanity and existence depend on supporting each other and creating the fabric of a community that cares about each other. And more importantly, it’s just the right thing to do.
Your Friend That Implores You To Care
P.S. Caring can be as simple as voting. Come November, Vote! And if you haven’t already and it’s available to you, consider signing up to vote by mail NOW. It’s not too early to sign up. Pretty soon, it’s going to be too late.