North Texas Daily

Centrism is a privileged political stance

Centrism is a privileged political stance

Centrism is a privileged political stance
October 25
18:38 2019

The phrase “agree to disagree” is an expression so commonplace that it goes largely unanalyzed, despite existing solely to provide advice that, given the current political climate, may prove unsound.

Centrists seem to perceive themselves as the primary victims of political upheaval, the aggrieved middle child mediating a series of seemingly unimportant spats between the left and right. This is a flattering portrayal of a political stance that deliberately downplays the impact of politics on marginalized individuals. People of color, members of the LGBTQ community and women can technically endorse centrism, but only at the expense of their own civil liberties.

It is therefore inherently bigoted of centrists to deem their ideology intellectually superior to that of someone who will undoubtedly suffer if they do not involve themselves in politics. When a centrist pronounces themselves to evolved to engage in politics, they are unwittingly admitting that they do not care enough about minorities to actively fight against prejudicial political stances.

This next statement seems contradictory but is ultimately crucial: Centrism does not exist.

Centrists may not actively condone oppression, but their penchant for inaction indirectly contributes to the ratification of prejudicial laws, and therefore, intentions become irrelevant when lives are on the line. A common refrain in reference to the Holocaust is “How could they have let that happen?”

Well, the answer is contained within the question. Those who didn’t actively participate in the rampant persecution of Jewish people and other minorities still didn’t perceive their neighbors as human enough to save. Going off of this, it can be inferred that the centrists of today have internalized just enough bigotry to subconsciously regard marginalized individuals as unworthy of aid, even if they do not necessarily perceive said people as less than human.

Centrists have a tendency towards employing emotional blackmail when confronted. Some of them seem to be laboring under the impression that I, a gay woman, should be grateful for the restraint they demonstrate in not actively rooting for my demise. If I do not hold their hand through the process of unlearning homophobia and misogyny, they quickly resort to the embrasure of right-wing rhetoric such as “this is why some people still don’t like gays,” as if I could somehow purge the world of bigotry by simply showing all of the homophobes that gay people can actually be really nice.

I should not have to humor this kindergarten mentality in order to be considered worthy of civil liberties. I should not have to grovel at the feet of my oppressors in a bid to “earn” my humanity, and neither should anybody else.

Women, members of the LGBTQ community and people of color are prohibited from exhibiting anger toward centrists, because we fear that they will perceive us as a representative of our respective community and use any indication of hostility as an excuse to discriminate.

For those not yet convinced that our country has devolved into a regime resembling those of prejudicial nations past, I implore you to ask yourself if you would prefer to operate in denial until it does.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

About Author

Rachel Card

Rachel Card

Rachel Card is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in sociology. She was born in Austin, Texas, and is currently quarantining there with her family and three dogs.

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