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Status Quo Is Political


Status Quo Is Political

Rachel Virginia Hester

by Rachel Virginia Hester

Are you one of those people who think of themselves as enlightened and progressive because you are “not conservative”? Do you ever make “I usually stay out of politics” speeches? Are you a person who believes “staying out of politics” is a virtue?

I have a word for you.

As this nation’s violence becomes apparent to more and more people, you need to know that it is a privilege to “stay out of politics.” It is a privilege to be able to wake up and only have to worry about your photography or your food blog or your hipster band or your grandma. It isn’t something to be proud of. It doesn’t make you better than anyone to “stay out of politics.”

You think you can choose to opt in and out of politics whenever you want.

You are wrong.

Your refusal to change yourself or to act for change is political. And if you’re comfortable with or even proud of the fact that you “aren’t political,” then you’re not my friend.

Think about the people you claim as friends. Your Black friend. Your bisexual friend. Your friend who’s been assaulted. Your disabled friend.

Those friends aren’t for free or for your consumption or for your moral improvement or to be your get-out-of-politics token.

You’re deluding yourself. EVERYTHING is political. Your art. Your ministry. Your life.

It doesn’t matter what political party you’re part of if you refuse to work on yourself, if you refuse to fight white supremacy and patriarchy in this American life.

You see, telling the truth about how bad it is – being political – is how lives are changed. Sometimes, it’s how lives are SAVED. Even if you’re just telling the truth about how bad it is. Even if you’re just offering encouragement, love, and support for those who are barely making it.

You see your silence as a virtue. But refusing to challenge the status quo is racist.

You see your silence as a virtue. But refusing to challenge the status quo is homophobic.

You see your silence as a virtue. But refusing to challenge the status quo is sexist.

Refusing to challenge the status quo is a political stance. And it’s a sin.