I don’t usually get political with my posts here.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, because I want to keep things light and focussed on issues related to my writing. Also, I know that as soon as I take a political position, I’m bound to alienate a bunch of potential readers, which is definitely the last thing I want to do. And thirdly because most political issues are complex and I couldn’t possibly give them their proper due in the short posts I write. I’m the sort of person who’s easily swayed by a good argument, and I’m happy to concede that most political arguments coming from either side of the spectrum do have some validity.
But there’s one issue about which I never have any trouble taking sides. An issue which never really goes away, but which seems to be especially urgent at the moment. So urgent that I feel I need to make my position clear.
The issue is purely about how we treat each other. How we acknowledge and respect each other. And from where I sit, the positions of the two camps are pretty clear.
One camp likes to create division. They like to split the world into us and them. And once they’ve done this, they seem to think that only the rights of ‘us’ are important, and that there is no need to treat ‘them’ as fellow human beings.
The other camp is the one that sees everyone, regardless of whatever classifying features we tend to fall back on, such as gender or colour of skin or religious affiliation, as part of the same race: the human race.
I don’t have any trouble distinguishing between the positions of these camps. And I also don’t have any trouble choosing the one I belong to.
There seems to be an awful lot of the former happening at the moment. Call it racism or sexism or Islamaphobia or anti-semitism, or whatever other -isms are going around. It doesn’t matter what title you use. At its core is the same thing. The idea that some people are more worthy than others, and that it is perfectly okay to discriminate against those supposedly less worthy. And that is not a position I’m ever going to subscribe to.
And I also don’t want to hear the calls of freedom of speech and political correctness. Not when they’re used to cover up prejudice and hatred. I’m a descendant of holocaust survivors, so I’ve got a pretty good idea where this can end up.
So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m always ready to hear the multiple sides of any political argument. But when it comes to anything that involves ‘us and them’, and putting people down just because of who they are, then I’ve already chosen my side.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as