Harassment for political beliefs needs to go


Gabby Moye

An image edit here highlights what harassment can be like. Shown are examples of what people often say when a person is belittled by a differing opinion.

As the election draws near, more and more people reveal their political views and ideas. Others, however, take it to another level and force their ideas on the people around them. While sharing political values with another is fine, it’s important to remember not to harass.

In a poll of 67 students, 68 percent experienced harassment due to a political opinion or personal value; thus, proving that this bedevilment is a very real and important issue.

Kailtin Bennett, a YouTuber infamously known as “gun girl,” exemplifies this type of harassment. Bennett travels to college campuses where she interviews the students on their political opinions and personal ideas. When a student’s opinion differs from her own, she harasses and belittles them either on her YouTube show or in person. To take it a step further, Bennett continually uses the phrase, “you know I carry right,” to remind the student that she is armed and will not hesitate to prove it. 

Every day, people are degraded because of their opinions and beliefs. However, this shouldn’t be a continuous incident, as belief builds an individual’s character. No one has the right to take that away.

“I have a friend who is a one-issue voter who voted differently than I did in the last election because of one issue. They couldn’t believe that I voted the way that I did and actually harassed me to the point that I didn’t talk to this person for a while, and it was actually someone that I had known for quite some time,” said orchestra teacher Karey Sitzler. 

Sadly, this is what happens in most cases of people trying to share their views; they get harassed and ultimately lose a friend.

It is also important to remember that there is a difference between a civil disagreement and harassment. If one person’s opinion varies from another’s, and they simply have a discussion about the disagreement, that is fine. It reaches a point of harassment, however, when either party degrades, yells, or even gets physical with the other just because of a different opinion.

Not to say that opinions should not be discussed or talked about; it just has to be done in the right manner. Sharing ideas, if done in a civil way, brings people together and can spark conversations between hundreds. 

Whether about a presidential candidate or a future bill, everyone has an opinion. For the remainder of this year’s election season, it’s important to stay respectful and never demean the ideas or values of another.