On Political Polarization and Brotherly Love

Roderick Graham
5 min readAug 15, 2023

This is ultimately a piece about brotherly love in an age of political polarization. It doesn’t quite start out that way, though. I must first start with the hate.

I believe a group of people in this country, many of them identify as “anti-woke,” are committing bigoted acts.

I will describe two of many.

I believe the people who began speaking of “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” are doing racist things. Why propagate this slogan right when black people were attempting to shine a spotlight on the police brutality visited on them through the slogan “Black Lives Matter”? The historical and contemporary instances of aggression by America’s police towards black people are well documented. Why not allow black people the space they need to air their grievances? I was living in Providence, RI, when a bomber killed three people and injured hundreds during the Boston Marathon. The citizens of Boston came together around the rallying cry “Boston Strong.” How callous would it have been if neighboring Providence decided that they, too, were strong and began wearing “Providence Strong” or “All Cities Strong” t-shirts?

I believe the people who refuse to open their hearts and minds to the individuals who identify as trans, who refuse to allow schools to teach young people about their trans sisters and brothers, and who insist on calling trans persons mentally ill are committing transphobic, bigoted acts. I see comments about “the trans agenda” or “trans ideology”…

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Roderick Graham

Gadfly | Professor of Sociology at Old Dominion University | I post about social science, culture, and progressive politics | Views are my own