Here is my list of “musts.” These are ideals that I believe in and focus my energy on, day in and out. If you are a true friend of mine, you’ll agree with all of them. If you don’t agree with them–even a single one–please know that I likely think you are both stupid and ill-informed, and feel free to de-friend me.
I believe in:
– Equality for all. Gay/straight/trans/racial/gender/socio-economic status. There are too many disenfranchised people in this world. Lift up your neighbors–each and every single one of them–even if you disagree with them. And, outside the U.S., know that the struggle is not over. There are people being killed this very day, because of their identities. Your silence makes you compliant.
– Tighter gun control. The U.S. is out of control, with countless preventable injuries and deaths occurring daily, and if you don’t care about stricter, sensible gun control measures, I really don’t care to know you.
– Giving a hand up. Do everything you can to help those in need, and if you are not doing something meaningful to do so, shut up the fuck up about food stamps.
– Climate preservation. Our planet is dying and we are the cause of it. If you aren’t concerned about the future of the earth–acknowledging our human role in it, please go away.
– A woman’s right to choose. I fully understand that abortion is not the “feel good” option, but I also know a great many women whose lives would have taken a dramatic turn had they had not been able to access safe medical options to terminate their pregnancies. A woman should be able to decide such things directly with her physician–not some white male Republican politician, likely diddling his assistant.
– A right to pee. I don’t care who you are, but all of us at some point in time will need to pee. Get over your fixation with sexuality and gender and allow access to bathrooms for all.
– A pathway to citizenship. Illegal? Um, yeah, but you’re hiring those folks to clean your house and cut your grass, so stop with your stupid hypocrisy and allow those willing to work in the U.S. the ability and means to do so.
– Religious freedom. I believe that we are all entitled to worship however–or if–we so please. Today, though, “religious freedom” has been twisted into the perverted belief that one person can deny another their right, simply because that first person doesn’t agree with it. What decade are we living in? Treat others with decency and kindness, for god’s sake.
I’m sure that I have other “musts,” but the hour is drawing late.
I know you many of you may be reading this list and thinking, “Okay, I don’t agree, but Kergan–we’ve been friends since high school!” Well, here is the thing about Facebook: It allows us to reconnect with those from a different place and time, which can be fun, as evidenced by our shared photos and memories. But I’m trying to live in the now, and these beliefs I’ve stated motivate me to be a better person. If you are either in disagreement with or actively working against such ideals, meeting today for the first time, we wouldn’t really be “friends.”
While it isn’t necessary that friends agree on every single issue, at this point in my life, I want people around me who care about similar issues. I’m tired of arguing with those without enough sense to see reality. Just because we are relatives or were once friends in some manner does not mean that we need to be involved in each others lives forever after.
One morning back in 2012, unable to sleep, I wrote a Facebook post called “Please De-friend Me,” advocating that those voting for Romney de-friend me. At the time, I had no idea how quickly those words would spread, leading to hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook and Huffington Post, as well as both complimentary memes and competing counterpoints. The lesson I learned: you can’t affect change if you don’t speak up. These “musts” I’ve detailed are things that I hold holy. If you don’t agree: please, please, please de-friend me now and seek greener pastures. No ill will towards those who do, but life is too short to not speak your mind. Our future is at stake.