On one condition.
Judge those who have power and won't share it. Judge those who have privilege and deny its existence. Judge those who vote in a way that oppresses people, keeps them from being able to earn a living wage, afford school and stay out of prison for non-violent drug charges. Judge people who hold values that always include them but never seem to include those who are less privileged. Judge those who judge those who are fighting - in the streets, at the keyboard, in their neighborhoods - fighting for peace, fighting for safety, fighting for justice. Judge those who won't apologize when kindly approached with new information. Judge those who won't listen. Judge those who never change. Judge those who won't learn or read or make a move. Judge those who deny the experiences of others, particularly people who have stories vastly different from theirs. Judge those who think everything is great in America. Judge those who used to think things were great "back in the day" when women couldn't work and POC couldn't drink water from the same fountain - those were not the glory days. Judge those who say they follow a brown man (Jesus) and do not love brown people. Judge away, my friends.
I usually spend my time talking about those who need less judgment, which is why people pounce on me if I ever share anything they think is "judgmental." Those who need less judgment are those who have been impacted by the choices in the former group. Listen to the poor. Listen to people of color. Listen to women. Listen to those who fight. Listen to those who can't fight because they're unable to financially, physically or emotionally but are there in spirit. Listen to those who've experienced trauma - the processed and useful and the debilitating and raw. Listen to those who have been in prison. Listen to those who've been falsely arrested, imprisoned and beaten again and again and again. Listen to the loved ones of those who've been shot down in the streets, in cars, those who've had spines snapped in police cars and those who've mysteriously committed "suicide" in police custody. Listen to those who knew their rights and we're arrested anyway. Listen to those who've changed. Listen to those who've seen their privilege and it made them cry, change, then advocate. Listen to those who are willing to lose their lives to protect others.
There are a lot of false equivalencies being made right now. As you know, it's coming straight from the top. 45 made it clear he thinks Nazis and Antifa are the same. Let me be clear - THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. I'm not part of Antifa (I'm a BLM girl) but here's the thing and it's important.
People fighting for white power and people fighting against those who want white power are not equivalent.
It sounds like they are because they are pro and con and sometimes violence happens on both sides. But one is looking to usurp authority over others who are already with less privilege and one is trying to keep that from happening at all cost. They're not the same.
The privileged, mostly white Christian men who wrote the Nashville Statement saying that anyone who is gay or who affirms people who are gay (holla!) are not Christians, deserve our judgement. I'm not about to say they're going to hell. I don't believe in the traditional Christian eternal damnation anyway. But even if I did, I would not say it. But this is another false equivalence. I was recently called a hypocrite for condemning anyone who agrees with the Nashville Statement.
People who believe gay people are going to be punished eternally for a sexual identity that they cannot choose* (I consider this bigotry) and people who disavow that belief and fight for gay rights as an act of basic human rights are not equivalent.
These are not "agree to disagree" issues because when those issues play out, one side is trying to deny basic human rights to the other side. Did you know we consider marriage such a basic human right that we allow it for prisoners? But we had to fight for DECADES for law-abiding gay people to have that same right.
In conclusion, this world could use more judgment. Maybe a nicer way of saying it is this: I intend to spend my life keeping those who hold beliefs that limit others accountable. And that starts with judgement. I will no longer tout myself as someone who doesn't judge others. And if I have given that impression in the past, I was mistaken and I apologize. I do earnestly believe that kindness and connection are critical to a healthy, happy nation. But in order to get there, we've gotta fight against some serious, toxic bigotry. And that starts with judgement.
* I wanted to add that people being gay would be a great choice if it was a choice. I used to think that no one would want to be gay because gay people are treated like shit (that part is still true) but now I believe that being gay is awesome and just as cool as being straight. I don't believe being gay is in any way "less than" or not as ideal. I don't believe it's a mistake, an error in hormones or a bummer. Being gay is what it is. It is someone's God-given sexuality. And it should be celebrated with love and favor just as it is with being straight. And obviously, this applies to the entire LGBTQI community, not just those who are specifically gay.