"The time has long passed for politeness and respect"

August 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


from an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

I was part of a crew that went out to the University of Texas campus recently to talk to people about the fact that abortion rights are in a state of emergency, and one of the most common responses I got was “no opinion.” I despise apathy, so every time someone said that to me, I proceeded to yell phrases like “fuck ‘no opinion!’ When abortion is illegal women die,” and “Everyone should have an opinion, women’s lives and futures are being foreclosed!” When a woman came up to me and criticized my approach, I realized that as much as I hate apathy, I hate relativism even more. I just wanted to respond to some of the things she told me.

“Your tactics are really in my face”—So, are you going to be offended because I’m making you confront reality, or are you going to do something about it?!

“You can’t force your opinion on people”—It’s not my opinion. It’s a scientifically analyzed fact. NOTHING is going to change if we don’t confront the bullshit.

“You have to be polite and respect people”—The time has LOONG passed for politeness and respect. I can respect people without respecting what they stand for. In fact, I am respecting people by being a revolutionary communist and being loud about it. It would be incredibly disrespectful of me to know the truth and ignore it, or to know the truth and be quiet. Revolutionaries have so much respect for humanity that they are willing to piss them off by not tailing them; to piss them off by not compromising; to piss them off by being “in their faces.” If we “respect opinions” and are “polite,” nothing will change and millions of children will continue to die of preventable diseases each year, black people will continue to be second class citizens, Palestinians will continue to suffer from an ongoing genocide, and women will continue to be degraded and oppressed.

So I’m sorry, but I don’t respect the opinion that women should be treated like they were in the dark ages; I don’t respect the opinion that black and brown people are criminals who belong in prison; I don’t respect the opinion that efficiency comes at the cost of equality because that’s all a load of shit—because if you are of that opinion, you stand for the oppressive system that humanity needs to cast off. And if I kept quiet about the truth for the sake of being polite, I would be denying humanity the opportunity for liberation.

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