When Silence Is Betrayal – Why It is Important To Speak Up About What Matters To Us And Make The World A Safer Place

I shared these thoughts about last night’s events of the storming of the Capitol on my personal facebook page this morning but felt that it was worth sharing them here too:

My friend Ahmed put it eloquently: “But the ones that deserve the most blame are the ones who voted for him. Every single one of you knew this would happen and knew this group of violent extremists would be brought out front, and you were fine with it. We told you this would happen, that this is what he’s really about, and you were still fine with it.” This gets to the root of my feelings about the election, that no matter what else, voting for Trump is/was saying that this rhetoric, this culture, this POV is not just accepted but literally endorsed.

And while the people who stormed the Capitol with their wooden gallows and confederate flags may have been outliers, they are still representative of the party as a whole being willing to not just accept but incite this thinking. 147 representatives (almost all white men) STILL voted to overturn the election results even after and probably because of yesterday’s actions. If the people storming the Capitol were outliers, these representatives believe they should be the voice of the party, regardless.

I believe a third party or a new Republican Party is necessary for our democracy to sustain itself and that without it, this extreme, theatrical, violent, and domineering ideology will only escalate. To associate yourself with it in its current form is both shocking and disturbing. It was before and it is even more so now. If you believe otherwise and are willing to own up to your vote, message me privately, but as it stands, I can’t see any other perspective, and that’s frankly saying a lot from me.

Courage means being willing to look at our own blind spots and values and stand up for what’s right. It means having to draw some hard lines in the sand and pick some values over others as more important right now in this current moment and for the future health of others. It means breaking away from things that are broken and wrong and using your sphere of influence to accept, acknowledge and admit to yourself and others that you were wrong, and that you are willing to change, that you are willing to make hard choices for the betterment of the world and not just for yourself.

History repeats itself. We have a violent and disturbing past to use as a guide but even in our sordid past, this has never happened before. At what point will standing up for what’s right be too little too late? Our leaders must be held accountable. We as individuals must be held accountable. As Martin Luther King, Jr said “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

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