Damned Silence

For all I try to express my opinions honestly and openly here, without filters, I still stick to “safe” topics. Even on my personal Facebook page or Twitter, I don’t do a lot of Sharing or reTweeting, even of the usual memes. A lot of it reminds me of the old chain letters/emails: “Send this to X-number of people to avoid the curse and/or grant your wish!”

Uh, no.

But there are articles, thoughts, and opinions I should share, because silence only encourages and strengthens the side with which I do not agree. Silence perpetuates ignorance and misinformation. Silence condones the things I want changed.

Today, this means I’m talking about Ferguson, MO. I’m talking about Michael Brown. Because after more than a week, I can count on one hand the number of friends and acquaintances on various feeds who identify as white and who have said or reposted anything about it.

The tragedy is that a boy was shot and killed by those who should have been protecting him. That a peaceful protest could be declared violent and unlawful – a declaration that became self-fulfilling prophecy when  cops in riot gear turn the place into the picture of a war zone.

The horror is that this isn’t an isolated incident. That in the 21st century, this is an issue of race and part of a long history of aggression and oppression. The horror is that there have been generations of children who have had to learn how to act in order to avoid arrest/beatings/death at the hands of cops.

If you don’t quite get what I’m talking about, I hope that this beautifully written post about a mother’s sense of her own white privilege will help to put it in perspective.

And if you want to know more about what’s happening in Ferguson and haven’t done so already, I recommend checking out St. Louis Alderman Antonio French on Twitter.

For myself, I will work on speaking up. This is too important to my basic humanity – as well as the people I love and care about – to do anything less.

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2 thoughts on “Damned Silence

  1. hey MJ

    great to see your voice on this and i want to encourage you to keep speaking up on things that matter – when our voices forma loud and unstoppable chorus, maybe then they will have to listen and things will need to change

    been reading a lot of different posts on Ferguson related issues since returning to South Africa after three years of living in Americaland and obviously we have mane of the same questions and need for conversation over here and so i worked on my own piece on White Privilege: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/im-not-sure-youre-against-that-thing-you-think-youre-against-white-privilege

    so just to say keep on, your voice does matter and hopefully you will be the one who stirs up things in those you know and get others speaking and thinking about this
    love brett fish

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