February 08, 2010

Silence helps the oppressors

Naming the holocaust

By Joshua O’Donnell“Whether at the lowest level of politics or the highest level of spirituality, silence never helps the victims. Silence always helps the aggressor.” Words spoken by Elie Wiesel, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust.

As we marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27 to honor the victims of the Nazi era, I thought: What about the 125 million people of the Americas? What about the silent heads of state on Mt. Rushmore and their walking monuments, their offices of conquest? What about right here, right now?

We need the world to reconsider what genocide means ... what a holocaust is! Why is it that a culture driven to name things, to own them—i.e., THIS culture—refuses to properly name ourselves as the predator? With respect for all the victims of every holocaust, we must not exclude the ongoing genocides of all indigenous people or their lands. Until we begin naming it—properly—we will never be able to stop it.
Comment:  Great quote from Elie Wiesel. I agree with it completely. That's why I'm rarely quiet about issues of racism and stereotyping. Silence helps those who want to keep Indians and other minorities in their place.

For more on the subject, see "Bad Guys Aren't Us" in Avatar and Educating Tony About Genocide.

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