My heart goes out to everyone who is hurting as a result of what is happening in #Charlottesville. It is totally heinous, but racism is not a new form of evil – nor is it one that is unique to the USA.
Racism and bigotry can be as obvious and terrifying as the images emerging from Charlottesville right now, but it can also be as subtle and as hideous as the language used daily by our family and friends. By our politicians. By the media.
I think we get so afraid of offending people that our SILENCE allows racism to wreak it’s toxic havoc in our communities, workplaces, schools and even at home. I know that most of us just want to be ‘good people’ and the thought of ruffling the feathers of a loved one or acquaintance seems divisive, but seriously? Nothing is as divisive as hatred. We need to call it out when we see it – in any form. ‘Good people’ are not the ones who are complicit in a system that oppresses minorities. Look at the Holocaust. Look at slavery. Silence is complicity.
I can’t help but relate this to my own country. How do our senators here in Australia so publicly spread their hate-filled rhetoric without being called out for what they are: racists? Is it because that would imply that the Aussies who voted those senators in are racists themselves? For fear of stating the obvious: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
Challenge yourself on this. For a nation that was built on the White Australia policy (which, let’s be honest isn’t that different from our stance on immigration in 2017), is it any wonder that the poison of racism still seeps through society – excused or justified under the guise of ‘patriotism’ or ‘border control’? I know this week the USA are in the headlines, but it really just feels like this conversation isn’t that far removed from us in Australia at all.
Even so… the horror unfolding in Charlottesville should not discourage us this week – no, it should push us to fight harder. Love louder.
Let days like these remind you to use your voice. Now is not the time for silence! Don’t be afraid to call out racism when you hear it. There is no neutral side in this.
Cleo Wade (I’m a big fan) aptly posted this over the weekend:
In her words: ‘Start with you. BE A TRUTH TELLER. Be a freedom fighter.’
Love is the answer. Fight the good fight.