Leibee: There is no excuse to be politically unaware

Katrina Leibee

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

We have a multitude of issues facing our world today. Climate change, income inequality, gun violence, lack of healthcare for everyone, racism and sexism are just some of the most pressing issues that we discuss and work to resolve on a regular basis.

Ad

That being said, we still have people that don’t vote, using the excuse “I’m just not really into politics,” or “I just don’t care that much.” However, there is no excuse to not care anymore. There is no excuse to be unaware or ignorant about politics, whether in this country or around the world.

Currently, people are outraged about the energy and media coverage given to the burning of Notre Dame. Meanwhile, most people don’t seem to know or care about what is happening in Sudan. People wonder why society cares about the fall of an old building that killed no one while it essentially ignores the hundreds of injuries and deaths in Sudan.

Some might come from the angle of France being a predominately white country, and it’s the nature of the world to not care as much about a nation with people of color. Others might say that the burning of Notre Dame affects us more because it was a large American tourist attraction; the flip side is that we don’t know much about Sudan. I would say that the latter is right. 

As humans, we tend to only care about the issues that affect us or the people we are close to. We don’t have time to only care about ourselves anymore; we have to look out for everyone.

More now than ever, politics affect us. The political decisions surrounding climate change will decide if we have a future or not. Politicians’ actions on gun control will do the same. The most heartbreaking problems that threaten our nation and our world deserve to be recognized by everyone, not just those who are interested in politics.

The media has made it easier than ever to be an informed citizen. Netflix recently took the Central Park Five case, where five innocent boys were wrongfully charged of sexual assault and other crimes, and turned it into a short series. The series highlighted one of the many criminal cases surrounding racism in the United States, making it easy for anybody to be more informed about racial issues in America.

It is easy to ignore the rain when you are wearing a raincoat that looks like white privilege.”

Ignorance and the lack of interest in anything that doesn’t affect us personally has ruined lives. Old politicians don’t care about climate change because they won’t be affected by it. Male politicians don’t care about sexual assault because it will never affect them. White politicians don’t care about police brutality on people of color because they will never be in danger.

Those who choose to ignore the news because it’s “too sad” or choose not to participate in elections because politics can get ugly have a protection from societal injustices that others do not. It is easy to ignore the rain when you are wearing a raincoat that looks like white privilege.

Support The Equality Act even if you are not a part of the LGBTQ community. Learn about climate change and vote to reverse it even if you know it will never affect you. Be a feminist even if you are not a female. It is the responsibility of those with privilege to help those without it. There is no other use for it.

There is no excuse to not pay attention. Ignorance kills people. It threatens our world and our society. With the accessibility we have to information and with the rights we have to vote and to speak, there is no excuse to do nothing anymore.

Ad

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.