In The Netherlands we’re voting for the members of the House of Representatives this week. By the time I post this, everybody has (not) voted and as usual the VVD party will win and things will sadly stay the same, but I wanted to write about my feelings in regards to a thing I’ve been seeing a lot these last few weeks, which is that “we” should “listen to each other’s points of view more”. This is usually followed by “polarization is a bad thing” and how we should find a “middle ground”.
Nope. I don’t think so. I feel literally zero desire to “take an interest” in points of view that basically add up to “some people need to have fewer or even no human rights”.
When you only have money for one pizza, one person wants pineapple, the other one doesn’t and there are no other options available, you’ll have to compromise. In this case, it’s easy: one half pineapple, the other half no pineapple, everybody gets what they want, everybody is happy.
When discussing percentages of taxes to pay, you discuss and haggle and figure out a percentage somewhere in the middle of what all parties want. Again, problem easily solved, everybody is happy.
But when it comes to things as human rights, these methods of compromising just don’t work. Say, you think everybody deserves to exist and have human rights regardless, and somebody else is like “Nah, I don’t agree with that”, how do you go about solving that? How do you get to that magical “middle ground”? Do you make groups? Do you separate them by age? Intelligence? Skin colour? By the level of illness or handicap? By if they are of use to society or not? By if you like their face or not?
It’s 2021. As far as I am concerned, people who believe that entire groups of people, some of which I belong to (despite being Casper hued I was the “blackest” kid at my high school – this is not a joke), should have fewer or even no human rights, can go fuck themselves. I don’t want any of these people in my life in any capacity, ever. Also the argument that “we should respect each other’s choices” is bullshit. I don’t respect people who choose to vote for fascists. And no, they’re not “nice people, asides from their beliefs”. They’re fascists or at least people who don’t mind voting for political parties that have fascist beliefs, which is completely unacceptable in itself.
Also, the whole “asides from their beliefs” thing probably makes sense when their beliefs are about groups you are not a part of or don’t give a shit about. I am a chronically ill “allochtoon” (= foreign of the “eligible for affirmative action”-kind, because despite what this article claims, Western foreigners are also considered “allochtoon” and “black” students) woman. Both my parents were refugees. There is no “asides from their beliefs”, their beliefs are about me and people like me. Their beliefs directly affect me and people like me, especially when made into policy. I spent my entire childhood being forced to prove my humanity and my worth, very often by adults. Later, I used my debating skills to try and make people see that discrimination, racism, and hatred of the LGBTQIA+ community is awful, unwarranted and should stop. Despite often changing people’s minds, I don’t feel that on the whole, this tactic was very effective, and these days I don’t have the mental energy to try to convince hateful assholes one by one of things that most other people consider to be completely normal.
There is more than enough knowledge easily available these days. If despite this, people choose to vote for political parties that openly propagate their fascist ideologies, then that’s a conscious choice they’re making. I however, am making the conscious decision to never waste another second of my life engaging in completely useless “discussions” with people who make such reprehensible life choices, and I sure as hell am not going to try to “find a middle ground” between their beliefs and mine, as that would only normalize their ideologies. Some ideologies are just plain wrong. Period.5