We live in a world of voyeurs.
When people need help, people are more inclined to first use their cellular phones to record the video rather than call for help.
Some silently listen and immerse themselves in gossip without a challenging word, allowing others to be humiliated, defamed and even slandered behind their backs.
Others even tolerate racist rants, say nothing, but simply shake their heads in disgust.
They say it’s not their fight. What a shame. How sad. They don’t want to get involved. And they’re defense — it’s none of their business, but they still passively make it their business by choosing to remain in the audience and failing to discourage or address it.
When we don’t speak out or act against injustice, wrongdoing or bigotry, we become guilty and the enemy. We sustain the culture we believe we are against by deeming it an acceptable standard or acceptable behavior.
Silence represents approval or endorsement. It sends a message to the perpetrators that what they are doing is right and that they are no different or worse than you and I. On the other hand, it also tells those victimized that they are alone or abnormal, and that next time, they too, should endeavor to make someone else a target.
In essence, we become unwitting cheerleaders to victimizers and bullies, urging them on in silence. We establish conflict-ridden, insensitive environments, which enable or reward the hurtful. We ultimately empower them, which leads to either a greater frequency or a greater intensity of their rants or attacks.
So, there’s really no witnesses to wrongdoing – only the perpetrators and the public— those for the behavior and those against it. Our silence or inaction selects our side, and eventually, whether we like it or not, will place us on the other side alone once this epidemic spreads.
Eric Christopher Webb © 2016
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The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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