Tuesday, June 2, 2020

#sol20 June 2 The Era for Silent Protests Has Passed

I tried to write a SOL post last night,but I could not focus as recent violent interactions have left me upset and angry.
      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. 


Megan McCormick said...

So much of what recirculates through my social media feeds emphasizes this point- I love how you wrote about your journey with this point, especially the repetition and your flashback moment. Thank you for sharing.

Fran Haley said...

So much truth here ... I can feel the pain of your memory and the passion of your convictions, and am deeply glad you included immigrants and Native Americans ... reminding us of our shared humanity. We're all made of the same stuff - in the same image of God, yes. I am also reminded of Bob Dylan lyrics, written over fifty years ago: "How many times can a man turn his head/and pretend that he just doesn't see?" We must see, hear, speak, and stand for what is right. As you do, here.

Elisabeth Ellington said...

"We must actively protest with words, actions, wallets, and ballots." Such a clear, concise path to direct action--and we can all do something. I don't always feel like it is my place to speak up, but I try to keep reminding myself that silence is complicity. Thank you very much for this post! It really resonated with me.