How Do I Deal With Friends That Have Trump Supporters In Their Family?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I was thinking about this the other day as a good friend of mine related to me that their partner was a Trump supporter. My good friend lives out of state, is Asian American, and their new partner is White.

Should I have condemned them for being with a Trump supporter? Should I stop being friends with someone because their partner has different political views than I do?

To me this is an interesting example into the mindset of relationships with friends and family.

While there are Trump supporters who are absolutely racist, there are/were Sanders' supporters who feel similar to Trump supporters in regard to the economy and the top 1% - they just want solutions in a different way (at least from what we're told). And while I can pontificate on why they would be tone deaf to his racist rhetoric, I can't always say that they would necessarily be racist (versus privileged with a myopic outlook). Does it mean they understand race and racism and White privilege? Probably not. Does it mean class and status has something to do with being tone deaf to his racist rhetoric? Probably.

Does it mean I feel that they have room to grow and can be better people and someday understand why so many people of color do not stand with Trump?

Sometimes - but not always.

Not all interactions and people are cut from the same cloth and I do feel like I can't always just point and say "You're a Trump supporter therefore you're a horrible person who should be shunned forever", and sure, many of my friends would say that it is true, but not always either. I think everyone has at least one person in their life who either holds some different views, or has people in their families or circles that have different views. I really do feel, you have to gauge some things before making final decisions. Before coming to conclusions in the same way that White People can about us.

For now, my friend is out of state, and I haven't met their partner and I can only assume they would be nice to me. Like they wouldn't be a blowhard racist. Would I discuss politics with them, of would I disagree with something they might say - sure. But at the same time, I have to - sometimes - give people some leeway to grow, or to have differing views.

Sometimes a nudge is better than a push.

Not always easy - but something I feel like I should do - at least at times.