I Refuse to Be Silent
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

I Refuse to Be Silent

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Refuse to Be Silent
Ruth Fremson/New York Times

It seems almost everyday we are bombarded with injustices that are occurring around the world and in our own backyards. Hand in hand with these injustices, there always seems to be some debate as to whether giving horrible events air time is the right decision. I can see where this debate may come from; I mean, I watched hours of news coverage of the Turkey coup this weekend. But I'm also dismayed by the fact that a country was in chaos, over 150 people were killed and on most news sources, only a few minutes of air time was given to the event.

Terrible events occur everyday, both internationally and domestically, and the amount of information the average person gets regarding these events is a minuscule amount of the whole story. Most horrific events including those of terror, human rights violations and general acts of discrimination do not make it to any news source. So, the next time someone tells you to "just stop talking about it," know that you should do the exact opposite.

The second we stop talking about something is the same second the culture that allowed it to happen in the first place flourishes. You may realize that a situation isn't okay, but if you refuse to acknowledge it and do something about it you—and every other silent person—are responsible for the next time it happens.

Speaking up for injustices doesn't solely involve speaking up though; it involves listening and learning about the issues, especially from the viewpoint of those being discriminated against. While it is utterly important to stand up for others, it is even more important that while speaking out about the issues and the struggle for freedom or peace or rights, that you do not lose sight of those you are actually trying to help. Sometimes it can be too easy to get caught up in the idea of "doing something good" or "being a good person" and people forget that what their fighting for is far bigger than just themselves.

It may seem terrifying to stand against what seems to be an onslaught of people who would prefer to pretend everything will solve itself or "go back to normal" once people stop complaining, but if you know something isn't right, never stop fighting. You can speak out in so many ways—whether it be to your relatives or your friends, by writing an article, by working on the campaign of a legislator working to make the change you want to see, by contacting your already elected officials, or by being one of the people standing at the front of a protest side-by-side with those affected by injustices.

Some days it may seem as though you are screaming into a black hole and not a single person is listening, but even the smallest voice will bring hope to others around you and when you bring the hope, people gain the drive to stand up for others. No matter what you're standing up for, whether it be issues of race, gender, class, LGBTQ rights, international human rights and more. There will always be someone, somewhere who needs to hear your voice. The second those fighting for what is right go quiet, is the second we will be hopeless. It's up to us—to you—to make sure that never happens.

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

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.


Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments