Personal, Perspective

I will not unfriend you

I’ve been on Facebook since 2003. It seemed every time I joined a group or switched jobs, I collected more “friends.” There was a point when I did a massive unfriending because I had a ton of acquaintances – not IRL friends. It had nothing to do with politics. Other than that, it’s been a very rare occasion when I’ve had to burn the Facebook friend bridge.

I hear a lot of people saying they’re unfriending Trump supporters. While I understand the temptation to cut ties because of the horrible things Trump has said that then reflects on his supporters, this only makes our echo chambers tinier and echo louder. So I will not unfriend you just because you voted for him. I may hide you from my feed if you become extra hostile or ugly (as in I find out you really are racist, sexist and xenophobic even if you are unaware), but I will not cut you out of my life. I will try to help you overcome your -isms and -phobias.

On the flip side, I ask that you not unfriend me either. While I’m learning about your fears, I also want you to hear what I have to say. I need you to understand the experiences of an immigrant woman with biracial kids. Not only that, I need you to put a familiar face at which hateful things are being targeted. It’s very easy to distance ourselves from groups we aren’t a part of because they are faceless and you have no personal connection. Unless you are also an immigrant woman with biracial kids, you won’t have the same experiences with which to compare apples to apples and fully grasp what we’ve endured, so let me be a proxy to that understanding.

It’s been tremendously difficult to teach yoga classes this week. When you’re hurting, you want to commiserate with others who are hurting. But I also recognize my role as a yoga teacher to hold space for this hurt, so I try not to go down the rabbit hole. I’m trying to find light where there is darkness and come out of this with compassion for the other side when it’s easy to vilify them.

With that, I’m going to watch some mindless TV, get immersed in the world of Outlander (I’m on the 5th book) and try to enjoy the cooler weather we’re FINALLY getting in Texas. I think we all need a weekend to cool off and recollect ourselves. Come Sunday, I’ll be ready with voter registration cards to keep this energy moving forward.

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