Apparently, I ruffled some feathers with my post to my most conservative friend. Three people have told me how they felt about the post. Two have told me that I — apparently single-handedly — have managed to bring down the Democratic Party.
First, Hope’s comment:
“I don’t think you have or want any conservative friends. I don’t think you know anyone conservative period, if you can possibly think actual conservatives are like that. I voted for Kerry, volunteered for Obama’s campaign, and voted for Hillary, but it’s opinions like yours that are helping to ensure that I, and probably anyone else connected to the working class, will not be voting for a Democrat presidential candidate again. Keep up the identity politics while the Democratic party gets more infested by corporations and large donors. All you’re doing is alienating more people, shrinking the base, and helping Trump get reelected. The Democratic party will eventually die because of it.”
My response to her was that she was trying to use the Friend Argument in telling me how much of a Democrat she was, and then she attacks me for “alienating more people, shrinking the base, and helping Trum get reelected.” Yeah, I am doing that all on my own.
And then there was D.P.’s comment:
“Rene you, and people like you are why Trump won. Your smug and belittling attitude will only serve to move those on the Trump right farther to the right.”
What I get from these comments, is the same criticism to my approach to antivaxxers. “Don’t be mean,” they say. “You’re making people hold on tighter to their beliefs.”
I’m not sorry.
I’m not sorry because I’m not like this toward people who don’t know any better or have a legitimate excuse for their behavior. I am mean toward racists and xenophobes who, even after seeing the kind of damage they do to people with their ridiculous beliefs and practices, refuse to change their ways and even get entrenched in their nutty ideas. I am mean towards anti-vaccine parents who have at least a high school degree or who only defend their beliefs and actions against vaccines by saying some really crazy stuff without anything even resembling evidence.
I am mean toward my “one most conservative friend” because they are surrounded by people of color, including me, and yet are convinced that we are here in this country to take away their job, or rape and pillage. Seriously, even after collaborating with Mexicans in work and school, this is the view they have of of us:
All those things I mentioned in the post really are things that this person has exhibited at one point or another. They’re so blind to their xenophobia that they once asked me, “Why do so many Mexicans live packed like rats in an apartment?” Now, I tried to explain to them that most families in Mexico live in close proximity to each other. They may not all live under the same roof, but we are really close. When they come to the US, they kind of find it hard to buy a home since you need a mortgage. To get a mortgage, you need credit. To get credit, you need a credit history and a social security number. To get that, you either steal it (and then why risk it trying to get a mortgage?) or live here a really long time. Finally, it’s harder for people of color to get mortgages than for people my friend’s color.
This explanation went right over their head.
They denied that any inequity exists, explaining things like lower high school graduation rates, lower college attendance rates, income inequality, etcetera, on laziness and drug addiction. But, you know, I was okay. “You’re not like them. You’re good.”
So I was compelled to write that blog post as a way to air out my frustration with them. Was I harsh? Maybe. Was I mean? Yeah, probably. Am I bringing down the Democratic Party and assuring Orange #45 a second term? Hardly.
I am very frustrated at people who want tolerance for their intolerance. They seem surprised and even outraged when you call them on their bullshit. It’s almost as if they’re either completely blind to what they’re saying (and their surroundings), or they are deliberately being evil.
Either way, I won’t stand for it. I won’t be quiet when people act like that. And I will definitely be mean and insulting if mean and insulting is holding a mirror to the ugly people around me.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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