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The Wrongful Politicization of Humanitarian Issues

Valid social and humanitarian issues like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are often politicized. It is through the politicization of bipartisan humanitarian issues that they become disregarded. This development most often leads to the polarization of American citizens over issues that are an undeniable reality. 

Citizens, more often than not, are left lost in their pursuits of the truth, as no opinion is without its flaws. 

Climate change is a proven threat that is progressively getting worse because politicians are refusing to properly address it. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence proving the reality of our worsening climate— record high temperatures and rising sea levels for example— many stubborn politicians continue to deny its presence and effects.

Progression of global warming and its effect on Greenland’s ice caps|Photo courtesy of NASA

“Just out – the POLAR ICE CAPS are at an all- ime high, the POLAR BEAR population has never been stronger. Where the hell is global warming?” Trump said via Twitter. 

According to research conducted by glaciologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute’s Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, Trump’s claims were false.

 “Since 2009, the volume loss in Greenland has increased by a factor of about two, and the West Antarctic ice sheet by a factor of three,” said Angelika Humbert, one of the report’s authors.

 The same politicization and misinterpretation have been done with humanitarian issues and movements, like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and refugee aid. 

Peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors demanding justice for the lives lost to police brutality|Photo courtesy Blacklivesmatter.com

Black Lives Matter is solely a movement working for the validity of black life. Because black communities are continually being marginalized and disproportionately terrorized by the American government and police force, this movement perpetuates an essential change to American society. Influential citizens, however, have politicized the movement and completely skewed the actual meaning of the words “Black Lives Matter.” Politicians have made it so that one cannot support black lives without it being seen as making a political statement. 

Being anti-racist, contrary to societal practices, is not a political issue; it is a humanitarian issue. Black people in America, and many other vulnerable communities, have become political pawns. When real issues are being misinterpreted as politics, they begin to be disregarded. 

COVID-19 is a pandemic, not “just the flu.”  Climate change is real, not a “hoax.” The Black Lives Matter movement is a fight against racism, not advocacy of one race being superior to another. It is only when Americans stop politicizing real issues and movements that the country can be united— not as Republicans and Democrats, but as human beings.

About Roaa Alkhawaja

Roaa Alkhawaja
Junior and Opinions/Sunburn Editor, Ro'aa Alkhawaja, loves herself a good week of binge-watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and eating more Nutella sandwiches than should be humanly possible.

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