With each passing day there is seemingly a new crisis that we, as Americans, are being subjected to by our current federal administration. Correspondingly, with each new crisis, social media becomes a hotbed of posts and tweets about that situation.
The other day I saw a post on Facebook exclaiming the writer’s frustration with what he sees as everyone responding to the “crisis du jour” and that we are just jumping on the bandwagon until the next issue arises, forgetting about the prior one(s). He believes we should just focus on our little community and stop worrying about everything going on outside of our community.
Well, I disagree.
I spent years keeping my head down and keeping my mouth shut. I thought it was important not to rock the boat. Penny Pritzker, Former Secretary of Commerce, warned against “the tribe of folded arms,” and said that “[S]ilence is dangerous, because it spreads the notion that the problems of your neighbor are not your problems.”
Make no mistake about it – what is happening in our country are our problems. Our community is part of a much larger community. Our problems don’t stop at the county line. They encompass our entire country. They extend to the entire Earth.
So those days of being part of “the tribe of folded arms” and mute voice are over.
I have wholeheartedly jumped on the social activism bandwagon and let the chips fall where they may. I truly believe that the very soul of our democracy is at stake. You may not see me posting as much about past crises inflicted upon us by the current administration, but you don’t see what I’m doing behind the scenes. For example, just because you don’t see me posting on Facebook about gun control these days, does not mean, not for a minute, that I’m not involved in the gun reform movement. You don’t know who I’m writing letters to, what companies I’m boycotting, what organizations and causes I’m assisting and/or donating money to, or what organizations I have joined. If you are not attending vigils and marches, you don’t know that I was there, with other likeminded people.
It has been said that silence is complicity. I leave you with quotes from men and women far wiser than I on this very subject. Don’t be silent.
- The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. ~Albert Einstein
- All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. ~Thomas Jefferson
- If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. ~Desmond Tutu
- Your silence is consent. ~Plato
- I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever humans endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented. ~Elie Wiesel
- There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest it. ~Elie Wiesel
- One does not have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and absence of understanding are sufficient. ~Charles M. Blow
- Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
- In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
- If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it. ~Zora Neale Hurston
- I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody. ~Lily Tomlin
- As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and one for helping others. ~Audrey Hepburn
- The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings. ~Albert Schweitzer
- First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out for I was not a socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out for I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out for I was not a not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me. ~Martin Niemöller
- When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it’s a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity. ~Cory Booker
- Have you ever wondered what you would do during the civil rights movement? Stop wondering. It isthe civil rights movement. What are you doing? ~Chris Savage
And because I couldn’t stop looking for more quotes on this:
- We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
- To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
- Talmudic Dictum “Shtika Kehoda” that is, “Silence is complicity.”
- We know that silence equals consent when atrocities are committed against innocent men, women and children. We know that indifference equals complicity when bigotry, hatred and intolerance are allowed to take root. And we know that education and hope are the most effective ways to combat ignorance and despair. ~ Gabrielle Giffords