OPINION: Stop letting politics hurt families


Rachael Eyler, Multimedia Editor

I never knew how politics could affect a person’s family until now.

A couple of weeks ago, my uncle tried to start a political argument with me about an opinion piece written by a fellow staff member, who happens to be an international student, Pakistani, and Muslim. The piece detailed his personal experience in regard to the Muslim ban.

My uncle insulted The Wood Word by calling it a blog, said I lacked ethics and accused me of reporting fake news — all because he did not agree with the article, which, again, was an opinion piece.

What my family does not understand is that the way they communicate their political opinions not only hurt, but also negate what everyone taught me growing up.

As part of a military family, I was taught it should not matter what race you are, where you come from, what job you have or which political party you side with. What matters is the respect and kindness that you show someone.

Now, the people who taught me how to respect others have clearly forgotten that value themselves.

The lack of respect I received since the beginning of the 2016 election has made me question if politics are more important to my family members than I am. The stories I hear about how people have distanced themselves from their families because of politics frightens me.

My mom told me to block my uncle because of his comment on my Facebook wall. That broke my heart. I should not have to remove a family member because of political differences, nor should they make me upset because I shared my peer’s work.

Whether it is through social media or in a general conversation, a person’s political views should not be the deciding factor whether you like them or not. Family should be about unconditional love, not about which party you side with.

Even my grandparents make it seem like I am not at their level of intelligence because of how my future career has been a key role in politics lately.

I was excited to share with my grandparents an experience I had reporting in Washington D.C. during the election season. They became quick to turn my experience into something negative because they did not agree with how the media has been involved with covering politics.

If I do not side with them, then I stand alone.

My family used to support everyone and would always be there for one another. Now, because of recent political stances, we seem to be enemies.

And that is not what family is about.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @REylerTWW