I wouldn’t call myself a social media influencer but I certainly do create content on many different platforms, and being on all these different platforms has led me to finding a plethora of different content creators avoiding politics on their platform. The reasons vary but it all boils down to “this isn’t why I made this account”. Apparently everything from human rights to not saying slurs is “political” in present day and the only place you can talk about these things are on platforms specifically designed to be political, and I wanted to talk about why this is bad.
As you may have suspected, there isn’t any objective science behind this reasoning. This won’t be one of my researched posts because in the end of the day this is opinion based and I can’t argue that. There isn’t some brain chemistry, worldly physics, or the like backing me up. However, I think it is important to say that a lot of content creators who want to avoid “politics” are straight white people. It’s easy to say “I made this account to make people laugh” when you don’t have to worry about someone calling your basic human rights into question.
In truth, white men especially can easily create a platform where they don’t have to worry about other things being brought up. On the other side of things, someone like me (Gay Mexican) could make exactly the same content and still have a racist come in saying “go back to Mexico, build the wall” etc. as if I wasn’t born in America, or a homophobe tell me I’m going to hell and that I should never be allowed to marry or adopt kids. I can not escape “the politics” that surround me, and what straight white people are saying with “don’t talk about politics here” is that it is too much energy for them to be an ally at all times or that they are not an ally at all.
It’s strange, isn’t it? What is so tiring about telling people everyone deserves kindness and basic human rights? Why isn’t the statement “don’t say offensive things”? I myself have made it clear on every platform I have that I am not only willing to discuss my “political” beliefs, but I included my statement with a wide variety of things I support. BLM, Women’s Rights, Trans Rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, Indigenous Rights. None of these should be controversial, and saying it on any platform should be easy, because to me each of those just mean “treat them with kindness”. It really is that easy, and banning people who disagree or discouraging offensive discourse should be the way to handle things, instead of “don’t talk about politics period”.
In case you were wondering, the word “politics” has been in quotation this whole time because my existence isn’t political. How we should treat people isn’t political. The only things that are political are policies and laws, the people in government, and relations between governments. The only reason human decency has become “political” is because governments have made it their business to treat others unfairly, to regulate their bodies and prevent them from being who they are on the basis of religion.
I invite everyone going into the new year to not be afraid of “being political” and to flat out ignore bigoted people if they do not want to get into a lengthy and possibly pointless conversation. Some people refuse to change their mind based on hate and misinformation, and those people can be exhausting. So ignore them, cut them out, but do not be complacent because “they’re a great person except they’re racist” because they are not a great person. It’s 2022, we’re not only overdue for change, but we’ve been regressing and it’s time we start moving forward in giant steps.