Dear people who tell artists to “stick to their art” and leave politics out of it:
A letter to people who are shocked at what happened at the Capitol or who say it was unexpected, or people who want celebrities/public figures/game developers/etc. to “stick to [career] and leave politics out of it”:
In case you can’t tell from my photos, I’m very white. What you can’t see in my photos is that I’m also LGBT+ (I have a wonderful, supportive boyfriend).
I’m part of a marginalized group, but I will admit that I do still live in privilege just because white privilege is so strong it can sometimes overpower that. But the point is, that I am part of a marginalized group.
I say all this to say that people who are white, straight, “normal” people can very easily say stuff about “not paying attention to politics,” or “not into politics,” because there aren’t active politics in place that marginalize them. It’s easy to not pay attention to something when there has never been and is currently nothing in that thing that affects them differently from others.
When you are part of a group whose rights or very life are casually put up for debate every few months, you have no choice but to pay attention to politics. I’m not into politics like it’s sports or knitting or gymnastics, I’m forced into the middle of politics in the sense that there are politics that are trying to actively destroy my rights constantly, and my rights are brought to the table so casually as if it’s a discussion about budgeting.
To you politics is a choice, something to spectate when you want and come in and out of as you please. It’s also easy for you to be intellectually lazy and say that everything is just “two sides of the same coin” (toxic centrism). To us, politics is about people fighting against our rights to life and happiness.
We’ve been warning that exactly what is happening right now was going to happen for the last 5 years, but it was dismissed time and time again as dramatic or ridiculous, and now you’re shocked that it is happening.
So during this time please don’t tell human beings to “stick to [career]” because guess what…they’re still human beings and it’s hard to focus on [career] when that human is scared for their life or their rights.
Also please stop saying that we just “all need to get along” or “put our differences aside” or “not let politics come between us” or that “it’s time to heal and move on” (without holding people accountable). Tell that to the fascists who are trying to destroy people’s rights, not us who are merely holding them accountable. The only way to heal and move on is to hold Trump and all of his seditious, fascist, bigoted cult accountable for their actions, that’s the only damn way I’m going to heal. If you’re not in a marginalized group stop telling those of us who are how we should feel or react. You wouldn’t tell a murder victim’s family that pursuing conviction of the murderer would just cause more division and problems, or that they just need to “turn a new page” and move on from the event so they can start healing, so stop doing that for this.
In conclusion: Please don’t tell people whose identities on social media are their “persona” or their career (i.e. YouTubers, game developers, etc.) to stop talking about politics, because “politics” is a term with a completely different meaning to them than it is to you. They’re suffering right now, and just because you can’t comprehend their suffering because of your personal experience doesn’t make their stress invalid. We aren’t just a robot or factory that produces the content you consume, we are human beings and we are in mental, emotional, and physical distress. Our art cannot exist without us, so stop trying to consume our content while simultaneously trying to dehumanize and bring down the one creating it.
P.S. The only way to heal and prevent this stuff from happening again is to put Trump, all of his bootlicker Congress members, and every single person who broke into the Capitol in jail to rot for the rest of their lives. And that’s the tea.