Someone told me that they were a Trump supporter last week and I couldn’t help but say, “that makes sense”. Then I thought, but what gives me the right to be so judgemental? I mean, who is to say that my absolute disgust for Trumps xenophobic, racist, sexist, egotistical pussy grabbing personality makes my view about someone who didn’t potentially rape a 13 year old, doesn’t grab women’s vaginas, doesn’t believe Mexicans should be divided by a wall, and wont allow a mother or baby with fatal health problems to die because of highly religious “pro-life” beliefs, is the correct view?
Then there was Brexit, of course. For those who voted to leave I was interested in why. When I heard some say that migration was their main reason for voting to leave the EU I had to take a few seconds before telling them why that was not a reason and if that’s seriously why they voted to leave then we probably can’t be friends anymore. Then I thought to myself again, but if that’s their own personal choice then who am I to say that they’re wrong?
A young man was seated with his date at a table I was waiting on. Upon letting out a sentence from my mouth, he realised that I was from England and as he was too the conversation naturally flowed to, “so where in the UK are you from?” Telling me he was from Middlesborough and I from somewhere he too hadn’t been to the conversation on that topic abruptly ended. So then it goes, “how long have you lived here for?” All very interesting.
I am usually united with my fellow Brit on the fact that New Zealand is such a fabulous country to live in. More people voted in this country for gay marriage to be legalised than for their own Prime Minister. You can drive out of Auckland in any direction and within an hour maximum you arrive at a beach that you have never been to before with an exceptional view. The culture and multinational diversity is probably, personally, the greatest thing about living in New Zealand.
When I said this in less words and way more excitement to this man he asked me, “are you being sarcastic?” Shocked by this unusual response to my enthusiasm and my lack of unification with this fellow Brit, I laughed. I quickly came to realise he wasn’t joking, though, because he said, “I can’t tell if you’re joking”.
“No, I am being serious. We have a delicious array of foods, cultural events, and so much more thanks to the diversity within New Zealand” I said. Well, the look of shock came over his face and he for some reason became louder questioning if I was being sarcastic, “ARE YOU BEING SARCASTIC?” he insisted on asking once more. It was a lose lose situation, because the more I tried to sound like I was not being sarcastic my Britishness just made me sound like I was.
Now sensing my shock he went onto tell me, “I have been here for 2 and a half years and from the first day I touched down in Auckland town I have felt like I am in Taiwan”. Ok… So you’re telling me this in a Thai restaurant and you’re complaining about the different cultures of people in Auckland when they are the very men and women cooking your food? Interesting.
I could feel judgement all over my face. In his head, though, he genuinely thought his racism was justified. Then I felt like a snob for thinking that he may just need a little bit more education to understand why the people who make him feel like he’s in Taiwan are not in Taiwan and stopped myself thinking about him until I wrote this.
Is it ok to judge people based on their strong personal opinions?