The Channels

I disagree with my family’s values but learned to love them anyway

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Brianna Crow, Staff Writer

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My sister-in-law and I have a pact that we never let each other go to family events alone. We both married into a conservative family.

I have always been the black sheep in my right-leaning family, and enrolling in journalism classes has only made that more clear.

Growing up an outsider because you don’t share your family’s values is tough, and I can’t even share my articles or talk about my school experiences with them.

My conservative husband listens to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity talk shows, but I tend to listen to Washington Post podcasts when I’m alone.

I’ve mastered the art of nodding and biting my tongue because it’s not worth arguing about. Feelings get hurt when it gets emotional, but neither of us are going to budge on our stances.

I don’t share my morning newspaper reads with anyone, and I turn on the news after he’s gone in the mornings because he hates any and all news. I read my article drafts to my dogs who, while great listeners, lack any sort of feedback.

Family members have spontaneously moved out of states after they “woke up blue” on Nov 7, anti-LGBT posts slither across my newsfeed like the black plague, and hearing anti-Muslim remarks from family are all weekly occurrences for me. We even have a cardboard cutout of Trump who joins us for dinner and holidays.

A study done by the Pew Research Center shows that the partisan divide reached record level during Barack Obama’s presidency, and the gap grew larger during Donald Trump’s first year of presidency.

On the 2016 election day, a family member called to check that I was voting Democrat so they could “go cancel out” my vote.

Families across America are being divided by their political affiliation, making for smaller family reunions and less Facebook friends.

With all that said, I keep living my life regardless. Journalism classes satiate my inquisitive nature, let me meet incredible people and push me out of my comfort zones.

Fighting for human rights is who I am, regardless of who I came from.

You certainly can’t pick your family yet you can love them regardless and respectfully disagree. We still all go camping together, we just ban political discussions.

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I disagree with my family’s values but learned to love them anyway