The Meaning Of Silence In The Face Of Injustice
Politics and Activism

The Meaning Of Silence In The Face Of Injustice

A response to Declan Walsh's piece in the New York Times.

295
Wikimedia Commons

Declan Walsh, a writer for the New York Times, wrote a piece on Feb. 2 entitled, "Autocrats Steamroll Opponents With No Objections From U.S." The article was centered on the upcoming March elections in Egypt and the changing attitudes both in the U.S. and Europe surrounding the importance of human rights advocacy.

Walsh pointed to several autocratic leaders nationwide that held positions of power through corrupt means, such as limiting free press, rigging elections and instilling fear in the opposition. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt is seeking a second term in March and faces little threat to securing the position.

Sisi is one of many political figures that has capitalized upon the rise of populism under President Donald Trump's administration, and also in European countries such as France, Germany and Britain.

An area of concern that Walsh notes is the lack of response to the abuse exhibited by autocratic leaders from Trump. It seems that rather than addressing the corruption abroad, Trump engages with leaders such as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled for 33 years, and Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who recently won a reelection for a second term amid controversy surrounding the potential of rigged voting.

The silence on behalf of our president and his friendly engagements with these leaders, and of course with Vladimir Putin of Russia, reflects the troubling circumstances within our own nation. Trump pushes forward the message of “America First” such as he did at Davos and still has not appointed an Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights.

The president also continues to bolster a message that his administration is a victim of “fake news”, attempting to undermine news sources that do not report exclusively on the achievements of his administration.

In the wake of these events, it is the responsibility of the people to recognize how rhetoric and selective silence affects the United States both domestically and abroad. It is the duty of the people to question a government that is supposed to serve the people and value democracy, justice and liberty, yet supports foreign institutions that violate these central principles.

There is a difference between U.S. intervention and active dialogue surrounding corruption abroad. I ask all of us to consider how the actions of a president who associates with and has praised autocratic leaders reflects upon the values of our nation and what we, as involved citizens, are obliged to do to regarding it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

I Asked 22 People 4 Questions About George Floyd, And It's Clear Black Lives NEED To Matter More

Change can't happen tomorrow, because we're already 100 years behind today.

Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

12 Ways To Help The #BlackLivesMatter Movement If You CAN'T Protest

We can all do better. Join the fight against racial injustice.

The current state of the world has created the perfect storm for change in America. But with change there is always risk. Although protests have sprung up all across America, COVID-19 is still a very real risk. Luckily, you can help bring about change from the comfort of your own home. And no, I don't mean just by posting a black square on social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments