“The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a liberal is open to everyone’s views; a progressive is as narrow-minded and judgmental (more?) than any conservative.” — Doug Reitsch, Pharmacist at Kamilche Pharmacy in Shelton, WA

According to this myopic internet definition, being “open to everyone’s views” is good and something people should strive for. That is easy, of course, if “everyone’s views” are benign. And if they are not, you can still be “open to everyone’s views” if you are secure in your comforts, privileges, and power, and “everyone’s views” do not perpetuate your oppression.

Such is not the case with me. If this random germanic pharmacist’s definition is correct, I would be classified as a progressive for the following reasons.

I do not recognize white supremacy as a valid “view” to be “open” to.

I am closed-minded to centuries-old terrorism of stealing land, killing people for their resources, policing and enslaving them to generate profit, and perpetuating oppression.

I am extremely judgmental of hypocrites and bigots. I judge Klansmen and fascists and the political parties they call home; I judge people in denial of their supremacist culture; I judge people whose kin enslaved, raped, and killed mine, who make caricatures in mascots to erase the survivors of genocide, who systemically use every tool they have to unfairly privilege themselves and then tell their victims to “get over it”. I judge people who strip me of my humanity. I judge people who can call my struggle for liberation as merely a “view” they can be as “open” to as the “views” designed to ensure I do not succeed.

I do not and will not ever take pride in tolerating racism. I do not and will not think highly of myself for being open to misogyny. I do not and will not commend myself for accepting genocide.

In other words, I am not a liberal.

And I hope than by remaining committed to justice and liberation I never degenerate into one.

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