“I don’t like it when people think I’m racist because I voted for Trump,” a friend of mine said.
It’s well known that Trump is racist. Does voting for him mean that my friend is a racist as well?
Short answer: No. Yes, he’s white. Guilt by association is a fallacy. Yet he tends to find white people boring. More on this later. My friend likes a lot of the policies Trump is making and is working toward, including the wall. The problem is that he voted for a guy who skirts the line of being a white nationalist and prefers to hang out with dictators and shuns democratic leaders.
So why am I his friend?
Short answer: He’s a good dude. Though, he and I disagree on a lot of things, we can have debates without getting emotional. Not because we’re manly men. We are. I’m free to hate on his ideas: religion, political views, prejudices against whites. But I love his toilet humor, his love of motorcycles, and his compassion. Since he has no power to make policy for this country, I’m not giving someone the ability to make stupid choices like building a wall to try and stop the illegal immigration that is happening.
When someone votes a person into power, they support that person in their entirety, whether the voter disagrees with any part of their world view or not. So my friend may not be a racist, but he put his trust into someone who is. And now that person has the ability to affect policy in a way that fits his warped world view. And if it favors some people and not others—the rich, for example—then the country suffers as a whole.
Now, I’ve heard several people making the proclamation that white people are boring. I’ve definitely made that same proclamation about FOBs. We’re completely wrong. And, yes, this is about not judging a book by its cover. Even though when it comes to books, I do. I know it’s wrong, despite being an author.
I think because my upbringing was in the San Francisco Bay Area, where diversity is a key feature, I’ve met many interesting and boring people. And what they look like rarely defined that quality. My friend grew up in a predominantly Caucasian area, so somehow that might have skewed his perception. I tend to find people interesting if we can have cool in-depth conversations. Often times I don’t find that out until I dig a little deeper, since most people live in a very politically correct mindset, and I don’t.
I know in parties I’ve been the boring one because I might have felt insecure for some reason and wasn’t able to let my real self out. I also know that what can make a person interesting depends on the observer. So I may want to geek out about storytelling, others may find that ghastly dull. Or I may want to talk about how The Satanic Temple is doing good work in separating church and state, and people will stare at me with despair and want to run away but doesn’t for fear of being viewed as rude. So when it comes to conversation, it takes two to tango. And it’s this fact that my friend and I get along well, despite our vastly different world views. Within that friendship, we also find a lot of things in common. And I think people are all generally this way. We all want a certain level of security, connection with others, to be happy and content, and to be at peace. If we realize this, then tribalism can be minimized. Wasn’t this what Bob Marley sang about in One Love?