Is it acceptable to be a political book blogger?
As I am sure most of the world knows, a lot of changes have been occurring in the United States (my country.) Some of them are new. Some of them are aggravated issues that have been happening for decades. And others are only finally being dusted off and brought into the light. As a result, I honestly can’t imagine a single person living in the United States being ‘apolitical.’ Even if, by some chance, none of the changes affect you, you must know of someone who is or will be affected. So, I have to ask:
“How can I be silent when I already have a platform and readers?”
“Is it not my obligation as a citizen to stand up and voice my opinion?”
These questions have been rattling around in my head for a couple months. I have asked other bloggers. I have asked readers. I even threw up a poll on Twitter to see how people might react to a blog, so devout to books, suddenly starts discussing completely different, completely serious, completely real-life matters. The reaction?
— Melanie Bernard (@NoellBernard) November 13, 2017
Based on this, I’m not really sure what to do. A high number of voters believed it was acceptable to post politics on a book blog or the book blogger’s social media, but an even larger number of voters said it would depend. Depend on what, though? Well… that answer was very vague, as well.
“As long as you don’t overdo it.”
“Don’t mind a social cause from time to time.”
From time to time. As long as I don’t overdo it. These are very abstract concepts with no defined clauses. What is ‘overdoing it?’ Standing up for what I believe in? Supporting those who don’t have a platform to reach people? And what is a social cause? Isn’t the right to live our lives free of the constant overbearing prejudice of the government a social cause? But… that’s happening all the time. It never ends. So, how can it just be a social cause from time to time?
So far, I have not posted political things. I have not because I do not know what I want to do. I am not up-to-date on politics. I barely understand the language, making me one of the least qualified people to even begin to support others. However, something nags at me in the back of my mind. It’s a phrase I say to my friends and family who will listen and rant along with me regarding politics.
“We are all human beings. Why is it so hard for people to treat each other as such?”
It reminds me of all the phrases we were (or at least I was) taught as children to remember and live by.
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
And yet somewhere between being children and becoming independent adults, something changes. Those guidelines disappear. We start attacking others. We belittle them to make ourselves feel bigger, more important. We take away their livelihoods, their rights, and for what? Money? Prejudice? What can a country divided by religion, skin color, sexual orientation, self-identification really do? How efficient and amazing can we really be?
I don’t want to sit here and rant at you guys. (Though, I could go on for days about the absurdity of human beings attacking other human beings for no other reason than being different.) But I really feel it’s necessary, especially given the state of current affairs in my country (and around the world) that we remove the age-old taboo of not discussing politics and religion. Only by removing the concept that some things are bad (because they were considered so by our parents or grandparents), can we open our minds to the wonders around us. Open our ears to what others have to say. And open our hearts to the other humans whom we come into contact with each and every day.
But enough from me.
What do you think about politics?
Should book bloggers use their platforms to discuss politics?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“Scientists in Fiction“