We can no longer afford to theorize about what we might have done if we’d been alive during the second World War. With the events of this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, the time to pick a side and stand up for what you believe is RIGHT DAMN NOW.
Recently I read an article on Twitter about the defining factor between those who helped Jewish families and those who did not. The biggest difference between the people who risked their lives to save others and those who refused was their upbringing.
The people who were raised in an authoritarian setting, with punishment looming if you didn’t obey, stood by and did nothing while others were jailed, humiliated and murdered. Those who hid people persecuted by the Nazis at great risk to their own safety did so because as children they were taught to think for themselves and to question authority.
I can’t stop thinking about that article because the evil of “us versus them” is not just in the history books. It is happening now, in 2017, and it forces each one of us to pick a side. Not with our words, because we all know talk is cheap. Now is the time to prove with our actions whether we will stand up for the rights of all people and live with a sense of inclusion and compassion.
No middle ground exists here. This isn’t about left and right, conservative and liberal, fake news and real news. No shades of grey can be found in this argument. It’s time that every one of us looks deep into our own prejudices and sense of privilege. Unless we get really honest and brave about these topics, no true healing can take place.
The right response to the images and the rhetoric from Charlottesville is rage and disgust. This is the correct moral and ethical response to symbols of hate and bigotry. But as time moves on and these feelings fade, the next step is honest, reasoned conversation about the dark depths of our own hearts. When we get honest, we can start to heal and then to rebuild. It’s time now to create a healthy, inclusive, female-led world. We can’t possibly do a worse job of it than then men who have been leading for centuries.
No more grand theories. Now is the time for action. To stand up and say “NO” to hate, racism and supremacy. Now we need to work together, with love and generosity in our hearts and our words, to bring healing to such a divided, angry and lost world. It’s always darkest before the dawn, but we must build this new dawn. To make it better and more inclusive and compassionate than anything the world has seen before.
Pick a side. Neutrality does not work here. Silence is complicit agreement with the current power structure. Resistance speaks up, no matter what the personal cost, for what is right and decent and moral. It’s our time to rise. To heal. To extend our hands to those who need our help, whose very lives are threatened by this rising tide of hatred and fear.
Our weapons are love, truth, inclusion and courage. Who is ready to stand up and be counted? To speak up for what is right and to refuse to be silent and terrified. I have chosen my side and I will use my voice. This fight is too important for anything else.