silence is not always golden.
in a country deeply divided by narrative, the decision between silence and speech presents a challenge. subjected to judgement and the possibility of being harangued, speaking words, speaking truth, is a choice-point.
this is a time of massive misinformation, a time of gullibility, a time of digging in heels, a time of excuse-making, a time of circling bandwagons. to pass by one who opines misinformation is to be complicit. to be silent around falsehoods is to be complicit. to not speak to inequity, to not address moral or ethical failures, to not stand up against prejudice and bigotry is to be complicit. to fail to engage against injustice, to not protect the truth, to rabidly push narratives of lies, is perfidy. to stand silently by is perilous. yes. there does come a time when silence is betrayal.
it would seem that two people or two groups of people, no matter how disparate, should be able to have a conversation. it would seem that they should be able to maturely debate, using factual information, issues that are at hand. it would seem that they should be able to respect each other, use discretion, and, without the betrayal of silence or anger, come to a place where ideas shared might move them closer together in understanding and mutual goals. it would seem that there is a bigger picture.
it would seem that unity might be the utmost goal, the endzone, the heavily-weighted bottom half of the pyramid of needs. it would seem in a country that its people would want to be unified in its most basic desires, its most basic values, its most basic tenets. it would seem that for a society to survive it must gather its people and its resources together to achieve any sort of illumination or actualization.
but relationship and conversation and unity cannot be achieved in silence. for silence-personified invites assumptions. silence-personified instills distrust. silence-personified creates chasms out of dividing lines. silence-personified shatters relationships. silence-personified builds walls of resentment, houses impervious to healing or conversation, learning or compromise. silence-personified is dangerous and paralyzing.
for those who speak the truth despite the pain of vulnerability, despite the vast line in the sand, regardless of any tribal politics and with much courage, we glean there is a way to survival, there is a way out of the polarization.
but time is of the essence. it is none too soon to start. to speak. and not to be silent.
“when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. you have to say something. you have to do something.” (john lewis)