"You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know." - William Wilberforce
My dear reader, I write this with a heart heavily burdened for my Patria. My homeland which has not only been torn by polarization, an impossibly high cost of living but also racism that has simmered under the surface and in some communities such as the African American, Native American and Latino communities has torn apart their very lives.
For all nations struggle with racism in their own ways and no nation is truly free of this monster, it is a monster that we must all stand against. Once upon a time, there was a king who only attacked people with red hair. Ahhh the people of this town may have turned a blind eye or shrugged saying "but I have a friend with red hair" but said nothing when the king rounded up everybody with red hair to throw in the dungeon. Finally, the people with red hair protested and everybody else was confused as to why "but the king didn't attack me!" "you must have been doing something wrong!"
Racism strikes like the king in this fictional tale. Not all may feel racism, but for those who do it is damaging. Citizen, we are all created equal in the sight of God- we cannot just say these words, we must live there also. For to see people who are created in the image of God treated as subhuman. People who are just as capable as we are, people who love, laugh and mourn like us regulated to the fringes of society. This is an injustice we have a duty to speak against. Of course, give those who are suffering a voice and platform. Share their stories and spread the news, but remember to listen to their voices of what is effecting them. For example, if I was a rich creole in Latin America, I may be able to speak against the injustices committed against the indigenous people but the most powerful voice would come from the indigenous people themselves for they are the ones experiencing it. Alas my heart cries in indignation when I see the division and hatred that is tearing us all apart, at a time when we should be embracing each other as members of humanity we instead regulate certain people as "less human" and even if we do not use those words, the actions in society prove it.
Alas, on another note I am heartbroken at the graffiti on the statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko- I realize, this may seem small in the scheme of things, but Kosciuszko was one of the earliest advocates against slavery in Poland. He sharply called out Jefferson on hypocrisy. Stories like these we must remember, along with stories from Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman...
Now this may seem controversial, but we need to remember the ugly as well. We need to discuss slavery and show children in schools the awful tools that were used. William Wilberforce, an anti-slavery activist from England changed the course of history when he shared firsthand accounts of slavery in the Caribbean. Wilberforce did not turn a blind eye, and he did not try to take over anybody's platform but he used his place of privilege to become a voice for justice and give a voice to those who could not speak for themselves. Instead of glossing over slavery as "ahh this never happened!" or "slavery was not that bad!" or erasing all evidence, we must continue to tell that story so we may never repeat it, and so that our nation and the world may heal.
Alas my dear reader, I urge you to go forth in a new light and give a voice to the voiceless. After all when people protest, there is an iceberg under the surface that we do not see.