Speak up or nothing will change!

I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across this video:

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In the comments below the post, someone mentioned that they see injustices like this so often now that they’ve begun feeling desensitized and helpless to do anything about it even though they feel that it is wrong. He asked the question “What can you do?”

As individuals, it can seem overwhelming at times when we are constantly presented with examples of injustice that seem to have become the norm. It’s no longer odd for people to call police on other people for doing little to nothing wrong other than being unfamiliar or looking different than those around them. It’s no longer strange to see people abuse one another based on their ethnicity, religion, race or sexual orientation and often the people perpetrating these acts are no longer pushed to the fringes of our society or shunned for their actions. So what can we as individuals do? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Never allow yourself or anyone around you to call the police on anyone for simply living their lives. It’s natural to feel more fearful of someone who doesn’t look like you or is unfamiliar to you. It’s imprinted within us as a survival mechanism. Fight the urge to assume someone who doesn’t look like you is bad or dangerous and encourage those around you to do the same.

2. If you feel someone is suspicious, call the police but be very clear that you aren’t sure if a crime is being committed and you just want them to come to check it out. Then stay and make sure that whoever answers the call treats the situation accordingly and speak up if they do not. 

3. When your friends, loved ones or even strangers are doing or saying things that don’t sit well with you, make it known to them immediately that type of stuff is not acceptable in your presence. Do not shy away from the opportunity to plant a seed in someone’s mind that may help them change their point of view. Be openly vocal when you see/hear of injustice happening and make it known to those around you that you don’t agree and that it should stop. People assume silence is agreement. Silence/lack of push-back emboldens people who are wrong and discourages those who may also speak up after you.

I feel a lot of the problem is that there are a lot of people that sit around and shake their heads and say “man that’s fucked up” where no one can hear them. My personal opinion is that a silent by-standing witness to injustice is just as guilty as the perpetrator of that injustice. If you think something is wrong, you should speak and let others who may feel the same way you do know that they aren’t alone. It may give them the courage to speak up as well. That courage may even lead to actions against things that are wrong.

4. Lastly, you can teach your children/children you are around that they must also speak up, that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect no matter what they look like or where they come from, and that we are all human beings.

If all of us as individuals would do these things then change would definitely come about.

That’s just my 2 cents. Share yours below!

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