Stop talking to brick walls

Political stances are like a belief system to some Americans. While certain people keep their beliefs to themselves, others seem to shove it down people’s throats with flags, stickers, and other propaganda that are intended to shock those who see it.

A car by our campus was seen with a sticker that displayed the acronym “LGBT” in a distasteful way. Instead of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, this sticker included pictures above it that displayed its intended meaning: liberty, guns, beer, and Trump. Some of the shirts for sale online with this message also have a phrase underneath that states, “make liberals cry again.” 

Why do people with strong opinions publicize hate to purposefully offend others? The answer is simple: people like the shock factor of their opinions because they find it entertaining when they can get a reaction out of someone. 

It can be seen in the classroom on a small scale. Sometimes, a student or group would purposefully tells an offensive joke to a sensitive student just to laugh when he or she freaks out about it. At the sensitive student’s expense, the other students get a chuckle. 

While the perpetrators are obviously the bad guys in this situation, they are not the only ones who should be held accountable. The best way to shut off the perpetrator’s fun is to act unbothered by their comments or beliefs. It will disappoint them and discourage them from acting out again. 

We have to remember that the United States grants freedom of speech, and the ones who use it for offensive opinions are not breaking the law until it becomes a threat against another person or group. 

It is also important to know when to engage, because nine times out of ten, it is not worth it. As previously stated, political stances can be treated like a belief system, like a faith. This means that it is highly unlikely that the person taking a controversial stance will be open to other people’s opinions. Fighting fire with fire would just add more fire, so try to be polite and get out of that conversation. 

Lastly, do not get so sucked up in politics that you turn on your friend. Between all of the endless unproductive political debates among peers and brewing resentment from lack of agreement, it is best to agree to disagree, then move on. Having opinions is acceptable, but oversharing is a dangerous road. 

With that being said, there is nothing wrong with engaging in politics. Stay informed, acquire knowledge and have those political discussions if it is okay with those involved, but please don’t use politics as a way to torment someone else.

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