By: Alex Hale ~Staff Writer~
Post-presidential election I decided to try and figure out what was going on in America and why my party had lost so terribly. So, I took a stroll over to a figure online that has been banned from Twitter, is known to be a provocateur and more recently was evacuated from UC Berkeley where violent protests took place against him.
The man I’m referring to is Milo Yiannopoulos.
To be crystal clear from the start, I am repulsed by his ideas, but for the sake of the Democratic Party, I would advise all left leaning people to at least hear what he has to say because the main reason he exists in our political realm is political correctness. Democrats will continue to lose if this line of thought continues to be walked.
To use a direct personal example of how political correctness can stifle important topics, in the wake of the racist images we saw as a campus, which I publically condemned in my campaign for Student Government Association, I directly participated in a number of diversity and inclusion meetings in order to see what I could do to be of help. In a particular meeting, everyone in the room was told to be brave and say what they felt needed to be said. I went out on a limb and opened up about how badly I felt for students who didn’t feel welcomed. I mentioned that a community I am a part of was clearly welcomed across campus, and it bothers me that people of color don’t feel welcomed. I applauded a friend of mine for being inclusive and yet being on the other side of the aisle from me politically. I spoke passionately and with great concern for our Black friends who don’t feel welcomed and are worried about police shootings.
Outside of this discussion, I have met with people about Cincinnati’s collaborative agreement, and I have marched with Black Lives Matter protestors. Yet, in my passionate plea, I accidentally, without even recognizing it, used the wrong phrase. I meant to say people of color and instead said colored people. As soon as I had finished speaking, a colleague of mine called me out for my use of that phrase and by doing so moved the entire conversation away from all of the other things I had said, all the concern I had, all the desire I had to change the situation at hand.
Now, again, I admit I shouldn’t have used that phrase, but because I did, the entirety of my point was completely thrown out the window. I felt like I hadn’t really been listened to. With that reaction, I as a person who had the greatest potential to be an ally was shunned and discredited.
Now, I don’t mean to pick on this particular incident. However, it clearly shows above all else how a meaningful conversation was lost and an ally turned away. Democrats need to stop being so concerned with words. We can no longer simply call people racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. because too many people have been turned off to listening to us because of that.
Milo is the greatest example of this. While people are screaming about the name of his tour which is “The Dangerous F****t Tour,” they miss his rhetoric about refugees. The president talked extensively about his silent majority in the campaign. Many didn’t hear their voices, especially in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The reason for this is they were afraid to be called racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., so they stopped engaging in political debate but still made their choice. We couldn’t talk to them because when we did, we belittled them and refused to even hear their side.
So Democrats, let’s fight with facts. If someone has said something that offends you, don’t correct their words, correct their thoughts with facts. That is how we win in the future and not doing so was one of the many reasons we lost this time.