I had planned to write about something else today but this tweet from a local political activist* set me off:
FYI- 90% of our daily lives is impacted by the zoning and land use decisions made by County Govt. Any conversation of “books”, “SROs” or cultural issues will only serve to distract from the MONEY issue. And for that the Development industry is thankful.
Let’s boil that down to its essential components.
The only issue is my issue, the Evil Developer issue. Anyone who highlights other issues is in league with the Dark Side.
Suppressing books that support LGBTQ+ students and/or the negative impact of school policing don’t harm me and my family so I’m declaring them non-issues.
This isn’t a matter of differences in political affiliation. I honestly don’t care what political party this individual belongs to because what they espouse is so deeply disrespectful of people who are different from themselves and so entirely selfish. People in our community are harmed by injustices that target them for who they are, and the response here is essentially to mock them, and question their intent.
Everyone has an issue that means the most to them. That is understandable. For some people that's land use and concerns about development that outpaces infrastructure. Whether or not I agree, I understand that desire to advocate on issues that they find particularly relevant.
To declare that your issue is the only issue is a kind of hubris that is breathtaking in its scope.
Everyone else can just sit down. I’m here with the one and only truth.
In addition, there’s a kind of cruelty inherent in mocking residents from traditionally marginalized groups whose suffering one clearly has no empathy for. The writer makes it clear that they - - LGBTQ+ students and families, Black and Brown students and families - - are merely obstacles in the grand scheme of things.
Their challenges are no more than made-up nonsense meant to confuse voters about The Real Issue.
Advocate for what you believe in. That’s absolutely your right. But don’t try to invalidate the lived experiences of real people in the process.
Even if you think there’s no more room for new people in Howard County, there’s definitely room for more than one issue. Move over, and give the other ideas some room.
Better yet? Sit down and listen.
*I’m not naming the author of this tweet because what they said is more important to me than who they are.