Never have I identified as “apolitical,” but I’ve met enough people that do to know what it implies. Oftentimes they masquerade themselves under guises of “good vibes only” quotes and photos of sunsets. They think they’re harmless, when in reality, they’re perpetuating harmful ideas. I’ll talk about some of them today.
1. Not caring about current events or political issues is a privilege
Yes, you heard me right.
If you have the ability to care about political issues, chances are you’re in a privileged position. For example, a black person can’t ignore racism because it faces them everyday while a white person may be able to because it doesn’t affect their daily lives. An LGBT+ person has to fight for anti-discrimination laws because it affects their rights and protects them while a cis straight person could afford not thinking about it because they can marry whoever they like, etc.
Of course, privilege is not always used to ignore issues. It can be used to do good, in actuality. However, this privilege allows people to be stagnant and not do anything in the face of adversity. I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t a more widely known fact, but not having opinions is a privilege a select number possess.
2. Being apolitical encourages stagnancy
If you don’t like to engage in conversation about current affairs because you just want to ignore the bad things in life and be happy, you’re doing nothing but encouraging the dominant power. Not fighting against the bad perpetuates it.
There’s no problem with wanting to take care of yourself and achieving your goals, but think about others: Can they take care of theirselves and achieve their goals like you can? What if they’re not white or they’re in any other kind of minority? What if they don’t have the freedom or the rights to do as they want?
It’s important to never think of yourself as in a vacuum. Everything you do affects someone and everything you don’t do affects someone, even if you don’t see it. It doesn’t always manifest itself in bad things.
Sometimes, it’s something like buying an expensive cake for yourself to celebrate a promotion even though a storm has just hit a nearby town and lots of people are homeless. Of course it isn’t bad to treat yourself and of course you never did anything to make that terrible thing to happen. However, the fact is, you can sit back and enjoy your cake while people have lost family members and have no means of supporting themselves.
This is in no way an effort to make you feel guilty if you live this lifestyle. I’m just attempting to have you understand that maybe your privilege has blinded you to what is happening around you. Hopefully, you can understand that not everyone is as lucky to have the ability to ignore the “bad things in life.”