Going “Political”

Straight up, people are afraid to be called “political” nowadays. The word conjures up images of elections, kiss-ass interns, and hierarchical corporations. Politics is too dirty and too controversial. Most people call themselves “apolitical” and stay away from it all. The same people should stop watching The West Wing.

“Politics” does not start and finish with winning or losing elections. Those who consider themselves chaste and “apolitical” should rethink their philosophy. The truth is, if a person cares about, say, access to clean drinking water, affordable housing, and healthcare, then such as person is already entrenched in so-called “politics”. Living in civilization itself makes mandatory certain civil obligations. These obligations are not mandatory because someone upstairs made them so. They are mandatory because people don’t want to live in a shit pile devoid of the things we take for granted nowadays as Westerners.

Even humanitarian organizations such as Islamic Relief and the IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) are afraid to be labeled “political”. This is understandable, since being political and taking a stance will lead to the revocation of their funding. But why create this fear? Is it even honest? They say that “taking sides” places bias on an organization. But when someone commits murder, for example, is it appropriate to be “unbiased”? Sometimes, it is only right to take a stance. Not to be able to do so buries the mistakes of the guilty, and paves the way to future atrocities. Take the Gaza Massacre of 2008-09 where 1300+ Palestinians were killed as a result of Israeli bombing and blockade. Relief agencies were so scared to be labeled “political” it was almost comical. They were forced to treat the massacre as a sort of natural disaster of sorts, like it was an earthquake or a tsunami. Were Gazans killed by volcanoes or by white phosphorous?

So this whole business of not being political in order to remain impartial is pure bull. It not only allows for apathy, but it provides opportunity for idiots who want to “get involved” without ever knowing the facts. If one knew the facts/history of a crisis/conflict, one would not have the luxury of being “apolitical”. Human conscience will not allow it. So for all those who profile and pose to pretend to care for the world, give it up. Take a stance and quit whining that some people decide to know the facts and act accordingly.