A List of Disappointingly Unpopular 'Opinions'

By Jack O’Dwyer

  Image: “people icons with colorful dialog speech bubbles” | Happy Art on Shutterstock

Image: “people icons with colorful dialog speech bubbles” | Happy Art on Shutterstock

There’s a general air of exhaustion that’s fallen over our nation -- for multiple reasons. Whether it’s the Trump administration’s new blatantly transphobic stance on gender or the latest of 2018’s 296 mass shooting incidents, it seems like there’s no shortage of absolute unnecessary horror for us to be dealing with. The worst part of this is the repetition. It seems as though half our world is stuck attempting to process the same issues over and over while reaching the wrong conclusion every time. It can be the most tiring thing to watch -- and, if you’re like me, subsequently argue about.

So, here’s an article you can use to help the folks around you come to a more progressive conclusion. This is an incredibly brief yet informative overview into some of the more important topics unfortunately up for debate today. Feel free to send this to your homophobic aunt, surprisingly racist middle school acquaintance on Facebook, or anybody else who needs/wants a slight nudge in this direction.

People who work a full time job should be paid a wage they can live on.

This one is simple. If someone is working full time, usually understood as 40 hours a week, they deserve to be paid a wage they can use to pay their bills, provide for themselves, and potentially provide for their family.

Currently, the poverty line for a family of four is around $25,000 depending on the state. So, in order for someone to make a decent living, they would have to make that much or above annually. Unfortunately, over 19 million people are living in poverty right now. That’s more than the entire state population of New York.

Why is it that in the richest, “greatest” country in the world, we can’t provide for our citizens? I know there’s this big capitalistic view on the worth of human life that is intrinsically linked to how much one can earn, but other countries seem to have no issue allowing their citizens to… You know, live. Minimum wage in Canada is $10 and in Australia it’s nearly $15, yet on average Americans working minimum wage jobs only make $7 an hour.  

The fact of the matter is we need people to work jobs -- skilled and unskilled alike -- and if you want somebody to work a job you’re going to need to pay them. Not everybody has the resources to attend a university, nor should throwing yourself into years of student debt be the only option to a life in the United States. Not only that, but most of these jobs don’t provide benefits like medical insurance. There’s a lot of expenses that will need to be paid out of pocket. What comes first -- your diabetes medication because a large soda is $1 while a bottle of water is $2.50, or feeding your kids breakfast in the morning because you can’t afford to feed them until dinner?

Trans people are real, valid, and deserve the same rights under the law as everybody else.

This is also pretty simple logic. Trans people (not transgenders, please stop calling them transgenders, that word is an adjective) are people. All people should have equal rights and protections under United States law. Therefore, trans people should have equal rights and protections under United States law.

There is no tangible reason as to why trans people don’t deserve to be recognized for who they are, and yet we’ve seen nothing short of an onslaught against this. Listen, you don’t need to understand every human being you come across. Just because someone is fundamentally different than you this does not mean they suddenly are no longer a person. Trans people aren’t hurting anyone through the nature of being trans.

Why is our society so wrapped up in strangers’ genitals, anyway? I use the bathroom for two things and neither one of them should involve the government. There’s a kid out there named North West. Why do people panic when a trans person asks to be called by a different name? None of it makes any sense.

Religious arguments are void because we don’t live in a religious country. Gender is complicated, not as simple as a binary switch (believe me), and has been flouted by other civilizations for decades. Trans people have lived in our country long before pink was considered the “girl color”. Stop this nonsense before any other needless deaths occur.

Racism still exists -- and it’s rampant.

People of color are being imprisoned, bullied, and killed for the color of their skin. If this was happening to some random white dudes, this would be a large scale investigation to get to the real root of the issue. However, because it’s not, we don’t care -- and why would we? The system we live in was built by and designed to support white, heterosexual men. Back when it was first being created, slavery was still an active and legal practice. Women couldn’t vote or own property. Why are we surprised that our institutions are acting just as they’ve been charged to do?

African Americans make up 34% of the prison population, but only 12% of our general population. People of color are charged more often and sentenced more heavily than white people for the same crimes. We want to believe this is because minority groups are somehow more inherently violent, but that’s so ridiculously far from the truth considering nearly every major violent even in our recent history has been kickstarted and/or carried out by a white man. The body count for white “lone wolf” killers in the past four years is astounding.

How can you grow to be something “better” when all of society has painted you as an exotic trophy piece or an unbridled aggressive killer? Why bother if that’s all anyone will ever see you as? We try to say that racism is behind us and that there’s no racial discrimination now, but those ideals exist so deep in our foundation that it has taken over 40 years for its insidious nature to truly rise to the surface. After all, the United States is famously the place where it’s remarkably easier to get a job when your resume is titled “Joe” rather than “José”.

I hope this was remotely helpful in some way shape or form. There’s definitely more unfortunately unpopular opinions out there. Hopefully, most of them will be compassionately resolved before our situation gets any worse.




CITATIONS

“7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real.” Https://Www.benjerry.com, www.benjerry.com/home/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real.

Allen, Samantha. “2018 Is Shaping Up to Be Another Terrible Year for Trans Murders.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 2 July 2018, www.thedailybeast.com/2018-is-shaping-up-to-be-another-terrible-year-for-trans-murders.

Balko, Radley. “There's Overwhelming Evidence That the Criminal-Justice System Is Racist. Here's the Proof.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 Sept. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/09/18/theres-overwhelming-evidence-that-the-criminal-justice-system-is-racist-heres-the-proof/.

Benn, Jesse. “Next Time Someone Asks You To Prove Racism Exists, Give Them This.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-benn/next-time-someone-asks-yo_b_12436340.html.

“Criminal Justice Fact Sheet.” NAACP, www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/.

Fieseler, Robert. “Exposing Bias: Race and Racism in America.” Harvard Extension School, 20 Apr. 2017, www.extension.harvard.edu/inside-extension/exposing-bias-race-racism-america.

Gabbatt, Adam. “What Trans Soldier Albert Cashier Can Teach Trump about Patriotism.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 22 Aug. 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/22/donald-trump-transgender-military-ban-albert-cashier.

Maglaty, Jeanne. “When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 7 Apr. 2011, www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/.

Matthews, Cate. “He Dropped One Letter On His Resume. Suddenly, Everyone Wanted Him.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 3 Nov. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/02/jose-joe-job-discrimination_n_5753880.html.

“National Center for Transgender Equality.” National Center for Transgender Equality, transequality.org/.

“Poverty Guidelines.” ASPE, 12 Jan. 2018, aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.

Scott, Eugene. “Transgender Protections Could Be Rolled Back - Again - under the Trump Administration.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 Oct. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/23/transgender-protections-could-be-rolled-back-again-under-trump-administration/?utm_term=.1450e03982f6.

Worstall, Tim. “Someone Working Full-Time Should Get A Living Wage, Period.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 7 Apr. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/04/07/someone-working-full-time-should-get-a-living-wage-period/#592df9792cde.

Zombeck, Richard. “The Ridiculous Minimum Wage Argument.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Sept. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-zombeck/the-ridiculous-minimum-wage-argument_b_5565074.html.