Today, in spite of Blackout Tuesday, I'm writing to remind myself that silence is not an option when our core beliefs as a society are violated. Certainly, Black lives matter, every single one. Certainly, racism and antisemitism are wrong. Certainly, violence, threats, use of money or power against any one of us is wrong. Certainly, our treatment of both immigrants and Native Americans is wrong. Certainly, if we are quiet, or complacent, then we are complicit, and that is wrong.
So here is a SOL memory. Long ago, my family moved to Alabama and as we did in a new town, we visited the local Catholic Church to introduce ourselves. We were there only a few minutes when someone talked to my father and we left. He talked to my mother in hushed tones before addressing the situation. "We won't be going to church here," he said firmly, "as they do not believe as we do. Some people think the color of your skin makes you different. That is not the case. God created everyone of us in his image." Sadly, my family's small action, like the silent protests of so many did not change the culture of racism that exists many decades later.
Certainly, we must do more than "silently protest." We must be outraged by all acts of violence against our fellow man and talk/write about it.. We cannot sit back and allow citizens or police to be injured or killed. We must protect the right to protest without hurting others and join them with our feet, voices, and wallets. We must protest through the electoral process when it is time. We should all actively revisit history so we can change the course of our society. We must actively protest with words, actions, wallets, and ballots. The era for silent protests has passed.