So here’s the thing, I’ve been listening to The Book Thief. It’s an excellent, powerful, heartbreaking story set in Nazi Germany. It’s interesting because the narrator is Death. I’ve never thought about how busy Death is during war, especially a war where people are dying not just on the front lines, but by the millions in concentration camps. Camps that were created because of leaders living out the hatred in their hearts, because of leaders living their false beliefs of superiority, because of leaders grouping whole religions or races together and labeling them good and bad, because of leaders without compassion, but also, and most frighteningly, because of people of compassion staying silent out of fear.
This is not the time to be silent in our country. There are people vying to be the leader of our beloved nation who have fear and hatred and bigotry in their hearts and it’s time we call it what it is. I can’t stand quietly by and wait until all that’s left for me to do is to try to save one or two lives from the suffering of unimaginable persecution. We must call a bully a bully now, we must point out racism and bigotry now, we must stand together now for what is good and just in our country, of which there is much. Most of all we must first root out of ourselves any bigotry or racism, any thoughts of superiority, any hatred, any fear, because make no mistake, these things are showing up in our country because they are showing up or have shown up in ourselves. We must look at our neighbors and see a reflection of ourselves. We can’t just turn away and say, they are uneducated, they are racist, they are hateful. We must find those things in ourselves and turn them out. Then offer our hand to our neighbors.
We must. Or else we may soon find that we can no longer recognize or live with ourselves.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Let us be friends with raised voices. Now.