Tea Time with Tagwa: Go be a conservative in the corner

Illustration by Karly Andersen

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Tea timers, apparently it is so hard to be a conservative student these days. It is so hard to voice your support of a man who preaches racism and hate simply because he lives in the White House. It is so hard to flaunt your privilege of being in the majority. It is so hard to not have people agree with your political views. 

Kaylee Cox, a student at James Madison University, recently published an article in The Breeze discussing how “out of place” she felt as a conservative student in a predominantly liberal atmosphere. The article made me laugh. If Cox thinks JMU is liberal, she should come and visit VCU’s campus for a change. Cox detailed feeling uncomfortable walking through campus with her President Donald Trump pins on, and how most college professors tend to be liberal.

Hilarious. You feel uncomfortable walking through campus with your Trump pins? I, a Black Muslim woman, felt uncomfortable walking through my predominantly white high school the day your hero was elected. I, a Black Muslim woman, feel uncomfortable walking down the streets during protests because your hero has labeled our movement as one of thugs and terrorism. Forgive me if I lack the sympathy for a Trump supporter.

Cox cited that: “According to the National Review, 73% of Republican students feel as if they have to hide their political views.

My father always taught me that the only reason people hide something is because they’ve done something wrong. If you feel like you have to hide your political feelings, perhaps you should revisit those views and your personal biases, rather than blaming your liberal counterparts. 

Nobody has ever asked conservatives to hide their views. You don’t like being a part of the less popular view? Welcome to what it is like to be a minority. You answer with uncomfortability. We answer with our lives. 

Cox goes on to share her disappointment in the diversity of thought on campus. She claims that diversity is one of JMU’s core values — she must be talking about a different JMU, because the one that I have been to is anything but diverse. It is anything but inclusive. 

When visiting JMU’s campus in 2019, I walked through their “quad” and realized I was one of only a handful of Black people and the only Hijabi in visual distance. So, this diversity Cox so desperately wants never really existed. Just say you want more Trump supporters and go. This diversity you yearn for would’ve been nice when I was with a group of white boys on your campus, singing to Drake and everybody but me said the N-word. 

Conservative politics only have a negative stigma because conservatives around the nation have given it that. I am not to blame for the fact that Trump called Mexicans “rapists” or told people to grab women by their genitalia. I am not to blame for the fact that fruitful conservatives took to the streets, lynching dolls of President Barack Obama when he was elected. I am not to blame for the fact that conservative militias took up arms to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead of fighting liberals for having such views of conservatives, perhaps you should take your concerns to your party.

Cox said: “Even if you fundamentally disagree with others, it’s essential to find a common ground or sometimes, agree to disagree.”

We do not agree to disagree when you agree that the Black Lives Matter movement is one of violence. We do not agree to disagree when you agree that you have the right to another woman’s body. We do not agree to disagree when you agree that your right to bear arms is more important than my right to breathe. Let’s not agree to disagree.

One thing I do agree with Cox on is that people will not always see eye to eye when it comes to politics. However, as a minority of many groups, I didn’t have the privilege to just realize that when I got to college. And I don’t have the privilege to whine about it. And that’s the tea.

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