These are some facts and some opinions, on a variety of topics that are at the forefront of most of our conversations, which I feel like defining as fact or opinion. Some will argue fact and opinion are not mutually exclusive. And I won’t deny those arguments or the valid points made on both sides. But I’m still going to go ahead and define these points as either “fact” or “opinion.”
I welcome discussion, I enjoy an open debate, I’ll even accept discourse, but I draw the line at disrespect, in case you disagree. I also ask you to read to the end if you choose to discuss, debate or disagree (respectfully).
Fact: COVID-19 exists and is an infectious disease that has led to a global pandemic which is still very much happening.
Opinion: I am healthy and/or young, thus I am safe and don’t need to take any precautions.
Fact: The United States has failed at containing and controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Opinion: Not testing for COVID-19 will slow the spread.
Fact: Wearing a mask helps slow the spread of COVID-19.
Opinion: Your actions do not affect those around you.
Fact: The global economy has and is going to take a HUGE hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Opinion: We cannot change how our economy is structured as to better help citizens (and thusly businesses) survive the pandemic, which would also create a system that is simply better for everyone.
Fact: Black lives matter.
Opinion: Saying Black lives matter is a political statement.
Fact: Saying Black lives matter in no way diminishes the value of any other life.
Opinion: Wearing a mask is dangerous.
Fact: LGBTQ lives matter.
Opinion: Being required to wear a mask is an infringement on your rights.
Fact: White supremacy and privilege have existed for a long time (even before the US).
Opinion: White privilege isn’t real because I am white and I have struggled.
Fact: The Confederate States of America existed from 1861-1865.
Opinion: Confederate monuments are there to teach us history.
Fact: The Confederate States of America surrendered (thus ceasing to exist) to the United States of America on April 9, 1865.
Opinion: Waving a flag of the losing side of The Civil War and continuing to support public monuments honoring its losers is in some way American.
Fact: The United States was built on a foundation of horrible actions and behavior, including but not in any way limited to enslavement and genocide.
Opinion: The founders of The United States were all solely upstanding and absolutely admirable men and women, and that speaking of their failings diminishes their accomplishments.
Fact: The systems that were formed within The United States (governmental, legal, financial, educational, and social) grew from a foundation rooted in slavery and supremacy (based on skin color, ethnicity and wealth).
Opinion: Because it happened before I was born and my ancestors weren’t even involved, I shouldn’t have to deal with it or think about it.
Fact: Those systems were not rightfully reformed or rebuilt when slavery was abolished on January 31, 1865 nor have they been since.
Opinion: Slavery ended on January 31, 1865.
Fact: Being a police officer is a public service that comes with a known and agreed to amount danger and risk to those on duty.
Opinion: Redefining the parameters of policing, re-examining the training and mental health of officers, and reallocating major portions of funding from police departments to education, social programs, rehabilitation, community, and health, would be dangerous to Americans.
Fact: The United States Constitution was drafted in 1787, ratified in 1788, put into effect in 1789 and has been amended 27 times.
Opinion: The Constitution is unbreakable law that we must live by and cannot be changed.
Fact: The polarization and political divide between Democrats and Republicans continues to grow.
Opinion: Democrats and Republicans have to disagree.
Fact: Media outlets and political leaders take advantage of this divide, often disregarding responsibility, integrity and care for us while doing so.
Opinion: The news media we watch and read is infallible fact.
Fact: Social Media has allowed us to share facts, thoughts and opinions faster, louder and further than ever imaginable.
Opinion: What we see and share on social media is fact and has been checked to be so.
Fact: There are sources of true, unbiased information available to us, and most of us know it’s out there and how to find it.
Opinion: It’s a burden of time and energy to fact-check what I share and to be responsible with my voice, especially on social media.
Fact: Debating conflicting ideas is good! It’s great and necessary.
Opinion: Disagreeing on one topic means we disagree on all points, hate each other, and cannot possibly have a rational discussion about our differences without insulting and assuming.
Fact: Listening and being open to listening are the best ways to learn.
Opinion: Learning is difficult or dangerous and somehow insults history or what those before me knew.
Fact: Changing ones opinion or stance is a sign of learning, growing and becoming a better, stronger and wiser person.
Opinion: My opinion is right; my opinion is absolute; my opinion is fact; and it cannot be changed.
Fact: All Americans are American and should be treated as such.
Fact: All non-Americans should be treated equally well.
Fact: We are all human.
Fact: We agree on more than we disagree upon.
Fact: We are not the greatest we can be YET.
Fact: Settling for less is incredibly NOT American.
Fact: More so, it’s incredibly NOT human.
Fact: We all hope for better.
Fact: We can do better.
Fact: It’s time to start.
Fact: This was all my opinion.