I've heard from a lot of people after my last post about speaking out against the hate, bigotry, and violence in Charlottesville and speaking up for teaching our children about loving and respecting other people. I shared a quote from Desmond Tutu that seemed to really resonate with readers. In case you missed that, I've included it and gathered some other inspiring quotes from notable public figures about the dangers of neutrality and the importance of standing up for what is right.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
― Elie Wiesel
“Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
"Neutrality is at times a graver sin than belligerence."
― Louis D. Brandeis
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
― Martin Luther King, Jr.
"What hurts the victim most is the not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander."
― Elie Wiesel
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
― Desmond Tutu
“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
― Paulo Freire
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference."
― Elie Wiesel
"I raise up my voice not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard."
Not being neutral can seem scary, for sure. That's something I've discussed with others since my post. But it's less so when you frame it in the positive. Speaking up for kindness is empowering.
I recently saw that the Southern Poverty Law Center said, "Goodness has a First Amendment right, too."
Standing up can take place in many forums, be it online, attending a vigil or when conversing with friends, neighbors and family. It can be as simple as putting up a sign that says hate has no home in your community.
Let your kids know where you stand not just on the evil of hate, but on the tremendous importance of love and justice.
You May Also Like: 9 Inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. quotes
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Filed under: Parenting