I want you to read these lyrics:
“That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it”
Look: I know I’ve written before about the importance of speaking out to help the voiceless. Until violence ceases and ignorance is essentially eliminated from my daily sight, though, speaking out against hatred should never be hindered. Our ancestors fled their country because they felt as though their rights were being taken away, and how did they solve this issue? They moved to a country they thought they had solely found, but, instead, they ripped it from the hands of their true founders. Our country was literally founded on privilege.
Privilege exists as long as we think we are better than our counterparts for simply originating from seemingly superior backgrounds. When, though, will we simply reach an equal and just nation? When will we reside within the valleys and hills of a country in which we can confidently say uplifts the broken and welcomes the oppressed?
We think we can do this now, but we cannot. We cannot claim to live in a town, county, state, or country in which evocative discrimination is present when it should have been eliminated from the day our ancestors finally reached the realization of, “Hey, we actually are all just people.” While derogatory terms are thrown around with the intention to discriminate and spread hate, we cannot say we welcome those same victims. How can we claim to be thankful for the false pretenses we have of how we established this country, when people who crave to flee their presiding nations cannot even walk into ours without the fear for their own lives?
How can we claim to be one of the best countries when we are not even a welcoming country?
Even our own citizens face backlash for who they kiss or who they even date. They cannot even reach marital status because someone in a suit who claims to have everyone’s best intentions in mind deems it immoral to their own standards. This man in the suit would not walk with the same swagger if someone across the aisle said he could no longer pursue a married life with his fiancée because he did not approve of their relationship.
Before we judge, before we discriminate, before we eliminate the rights and voices of others, think about your living situation. Have you ever been threatened for something you cannot change? Has someone who should not even have an opinion on your life expressed this opinion? How did it settle with you? Were you frustrated, hurt, or pissed?
Stop hate. Don’t discriminate.
It's interesting to view the different opinions of silence. We perceive vocal opinions to be somewhat of a higher intelligence–presenting their counterparts as inferior. We do not know the situations behind silence, though. Too many people are silenced because others felt as though their voices did not possess the depth to dignify their beliefs. Sometimes, this can be enough to stifle even the most insightful of wisdoms. Silence can contribute just as much to a conversation as the loudest of voices. When our mouths are not vocalizing our thoughts, we leave room for listening and understanding–a more valuable use of time than time spent speaking.
Do you ever find yourself searching for something–like a lost necklace–only to graze your fingers over something you lost long ago? We lose things, and as time grows longer, our searches reach a halt. Maybe we stop looking because we lose hope or maybe we have even forgotten about those moments in which we frantically tore apart our living spaces. One day, though, you find it again. You find it after it has long been replaced. It has been replaced long enough to hold your patience, but now you've found your old necklace again, and you realize it now feels like a stranger too.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.