Stop Turning A Blind Eye

“You can turn a blind eye to people causing others to suffer greatly, believing God will choose who is worthy at the end of days, or you can bring down those who cause such horrendous chaos and God can still decide who had evil or good in their hearts.”

I am agnostic, so the part about God above means nothing to me, but the idea behind the quote is strong.  You can choose to stand by and watch atrocities happen, all while believing they will get their own against them in return, OR you can choose to stand up against the atrocities and those who perform them.  I choose the latter.

Recently, Russia has been in the news due to a law that was passed and upheld in regards to homosexuality.  From what I understand, the law was intended to prevent people from using homosexual “propaganda” against children, indoctrinating them and making them gay.  This has brought protests and supportive rallies for and by homosexuals, which has brought on arrests, violent public beatings, and shaming.  Carry a rainbow anything on your person, and you face the chance of an arrest, or being publicly beaten to a bloody pulp.  Support the gays, and you face the same consequence.  All in order to keep our children safe from the gay.

gayolympicsThe Olympics are coming up, and they are being hosted by Russia this time around.  Many are voicing their opposition to Russia’s laws and behavior, and fear for their own safety, or the safety of their countries athletes.  Many are even calling for a boycott of the Olympics in protest.  Russia has claimed they will not punish those from other countries who are gay, or support their fellow teammates who are gay, but come on.  Who really believes that?  They might not face criminal charges, but the fact remains that violence is being brought down on people who support, or who show they are gay.  Who wouldn’t fear walking down the street with a gay friend, or holding hands with their partner?

Stephen Fry was on Twitter this morning calling for a solidarity salute by the athletes, a salute to show Putin and his lawmakers that they stand by their fellow gay athletes, and that he can shove it up his ass (The hashtag is #sochisalute, in case you’re interested or have ideas).  In response, a fellow Twitterer has expressed that we should keep politics out of sports, and that we should confront the situation with more politics.  This person has also stated in a lengthy conversation with me that it’s just a law against propaganda against children, and that she has not seen proof that violence and oppression is occurring.  She’s Russian, and lives in Moscow, by the way.

Turning a blind eye.  Maybe she is doing it because the news in Russia chooses to not broadcast such atrocities, knowing full well they are horrible and should be condemned.  Maybe she really doesn’t have any idea this is going on, or maybe she is just part of the problem.  Knowingly turning a blind eye so that you do not need to stand up and fight against the problems is part of the problem.  Choosing to ignore the pain and suffering of those around you because it should be left to the lawmakers is part of the problem.  Standing by and not making your voice heard because the politicians and law enforcement can handle it is part of the problem.

How can anyone turn away from what is so obvious?  Maybe it’s a fear of getting beaten and arrested themselves, but even that shouldn’t prevent a person from speaking out.  Nothing was ever accomplished through silence.  Nothing was ever changed that way.

Stand up, use your voice, use any power you may have to stop the wrongs being forced on others.  Stand up to that bully threatening that kid on the playground.  Speak up and protest those politicians who are abusing their power to oppress others.  Stop those people beating up another just because of their skin color, or sexuality.  Even if you think it will change nothing, do it!  Awareness and a voice will bring light upon those performing the atrocities, and they will no longer be able to hide among the shadows.  They will be forced to be seen for all that they are.

Stop turning a blind eye, or you will become a victim yourself.

stand-up-speak-out-stop-bullying

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#twittersilence

“Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything”
– Alexander Hamilton-

I like to play around on Twitter.  A lot.  I mostly retweet things that I think are funny, or that I agree with.  I also get my up-to-the-minute news from Twitter, as it’s usually more accurate than the 24 hour news cycle.  It can also be a place for support, silliness, political discussion, and activism.

Today, there has been a trending hashtag called #twittersilence.  A woman by the name of Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran, if you wish to check her out on Twitter) has decided to use her platform by taking a stand against abuse on Twitter…by being silent.  Now, while I am sure her heart is in the right place, I have to wonder if it will really do any good.

Yes, her silence, along with many others, has struck up a conversation about bullying, abuse, etc on the internet and beyond, especially towards women.  However, what does silence really do?

In my opinion, the abuser wins when the victim falls silent.  They can’t win.  If they win, the abuse will continue.  Maybe not towards the original victim (I mean, if you ignore something long enough, it will go away, right?), but towards some other unsuspecting, innocent individual.  What if this new individual is at the end of their rope due to things they are keeping personal, and they are now being pushed to the edge.  That’s how some suicide sometimes happens.

No, silence is not the answer.  Sexual harassment is at a high in the military because abuse is allowed to continue.  Not only because the victim remains silent, but also because when the victim finally does come forward, they are silenced by the authority that is in place to protect them.  Fat lot of good that does them, or the next individual victimized, or the next after that.

What about the people being bullied for the color of their skin, or their sexuality?  Not only on the internet, but in the real world.  Racism is not dead people, it still exists.  Hate crimes still happen, far more often than they should.  Have you seen or heard about what’s been going on in Russia?  Men and women standing up for their right to love whoever they want are being publicly beaten to oppress their rights and their voices.  The people trying to take them down are trying to silence them, but the only way to push forward is to keep speaking out.

Silence is NEVER the answer.  We should all be standing up and shouting about the atrocities we see every day, whether it’s on the internet, or right in front of our faces.

We should all be taking a stand against the cyber bully who hides behind an internet persona because they do not have the guts to do it in person.

We should all be taking a stand against the prejudice slapping us in the face on a daily basis.  It shouldn’t matter if it’s against you.  Do not turn a blind eye.  Say something.  Do something.  Let your voice be heard.

It’s the only way to end abuse, whether it’s verbal, psychological, or physical.  Whether it’s online, or on the street.  Abuse of any kind is wrong, and should be stopped.

So no, I will not be silent, Twitter.  I choose to use my voice, and call out the abusers.

What will you do?

be kind