October 13, 2008

The cost of silence

Filed under: Media,Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Melanie @ 2:45 pm

“I have come to believe over and over again, that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood…. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you…. and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
Audre Lorde (The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, Sister Outsider).

The latest post from Tim Wise, antiracist writer and educator (see post on white skin privilege here):

For those who have seen the ugliness and heard the vitriol emanating from the mouths of persons attending McCain/Palin rallies this past week–what with their demands to kill Barack Obama, slurs that he is a terrorist and a traitor, and paranoid delusions about his crypto-Muslim designs on America–please know this: This is how fascism comes to an ostensible democracy.

If it comes–and if those whose poisonous, unhinged verbiage has been so ubiquitous this week have any say over it, it surely will–this is how it will happen: not with tanks and jackbooted storm troopers, but carried in the hearts of men and women dressed in comfortable shoes, with baseball caps, and What Would Jesus Do? wristbands. It will be heralded by up-dos, designer glasses, you-betcha folksiness and a disdain for big words or hard consonants.

If fascism comes, it will spring from the soil of middle America, from people known as values voters but whose values are toxic, from simple folk whose simplicity, far from being admirable, is better labeled ignorance, from “all-American” types whose patriotism is a dagger pointed at the very heart of the national interest, for it so forsakes all the best principles upon which the republic was founded, choosing instead to elevate and ratify the narrow-mindedness, the bigotry, and the intolerance that also marked our country’s origins.

Read full article here.