Sunday, December 5, 2010

Never To Be Silent

Even I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
- Elie Wiesel

Even I swore
when I heard about the firebomb
tossed into the Mosque
near the street where I live

My vows are the opposite
of some religious orders:
never to be silent
in calamitous times

Whenever and wherever human beings
endure suffering and humiliation
I will take notice
and when the times demand it
I will act

Whether it’s a hate crime
or a homecoming game
we must always take sides
so I’m friending you now
from this moment on

The time for neutrality has passed
since neutrality only helps the oppressor
never the victim

Silence only encourages the tormentor
who loses all resolve
when the chords of truth sound clear

Silence never encourages the tormented
so I’m done being silent
and even if I have to swear
I’m taking your side

~ J. D. Mackenzie

[Last week, the mosque in our little college town was firebombed. We expect that those responsible will eventually be caught and tried. Meanwhile, the community response has been overwhelmingly positive. A real effort is being made to better understand our differences and to work toward a more civilized world.]


  1. Interesting response to this despicable action. I am glad you shared it.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Take my side. You wont regret it!