Thursday, October 6, 2011

Silenced by those who should love us

Somewhere, out there, people are afraid to voice opinion.

I know this for fact, because so many have asked where I get my "courage."

We're living through a sad and anxious time, when those who disagree are shamed into silence, and those who bully are allowed to advance.  Ideas still matter.  Words still hurt.  No two people see the world in the same way.  And without the freedom to advance a contrary opinion, we are all slaves.

This past week, I've received violent, angry, frightening emails and phone messages from obviously inebriated, drugged and illogical people, threatening me because I spoke my opinion on the Slutwalk.

Without contrary opinion, we are all slaves.
Their rage and threats concern me; not for the reason one might expect.

I'm not intimidated by obscenity or conflict.  Nor am I silenced by irrational people.

I do know, however, many people who choose to not speak because they are afraid of the backlash.  I know strong, forthright men and women who have been bullied into silence, who shy from discussion, sharing of ideas and dialogue because they cannot countenance the anger they inspire in others.

And I wish, oh how I wish, those who disagree could put their little private hurts aside, and learn to listen and grow.

I have no doubt that Slutwalking women have a great deal to teach me.

They cannot teach, however, with hate speech.

Odd - how the people who want to do away with violence can, without intention, perpetuate its evil arch.

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