My two cents – take them or leave them

 

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It happened again.

I shared my opinion on Facebook about violence and was told I should keep my opinion to myself (in a nice sorta way).

Here’s my original post.

Day #565 – Violence is a no-win option in every case. Whether it’s political factions vying for power or revenge (Palestine). Whether it’s fans @ a soccer stadium. Everyone is a loser when violence is the option chosen. Egypt no longer allows Egyptians to attend soccer games @ the stadium. They must watch on TV and players must play to an empty stadium because some people resorted to violence following a game a couple of years ago resulting in many deaths. ‪#‎Everyoneloses‬.
‪#‎GoingtoGaza‬

The response came from a pro-Palestine activist from America who counseled me not to “lecture the oppressed” about violence from my “privileged, white status.” He went on to tell me that “no tyranny, no occupation, no colonialising power has ever been solely defeated by non-violent means. i feel it´s not upon us to lecture the oppressed how to resist.”

I’ve heard the same (or very similar) response from others in the past. They’ve all given me pause. Should I keep quiet about my opinions on the subject of violence?

No, I can’t.

I won’t keep silent.

People can take or discard anything I say, and I won’t take offense. I certainly don’t try to hide my “privileged, white status.”  If that disqualifies me in the eyes of the oppressed, then they can toss my thoughts into the trash. But I respect their intelligence and I respect them to make that determination for themselves.

On the subject of violence, maybe my friend is correct that “no tyranny, no occupation, no colonialising power has ever been solely defeated by non-violent means.” But then again, that’s not the point of my post.

Survival requires evolution.  Evolution requires growth and rejection of what has failed.

Violence represents failure on a profound level.

When we’re watching presidential candidates goad supporters to commit violence; when children are killed in their beds by a missile attack on their home; when men jump out of their cars on a busy Cairo street and start pummeling each other —- it’s time for everyone (including the “privileged, white Westerners”) to speak up.

So I’ll keep voicing my opinions about violence.

Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death. — Pope Francis

 

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Peaceful, Spiritual - Religion, Uncategorized

7 responses to “My two cents – take them or leave them

  1. Michael Johnson

    Why shouldn’t we as “privileged white Americans” speak out? Not only should we speak out… we must speak out! After-all, it is our money that helps support the blockades, settlements, outposts, and the atrocities that are being committed on a daily basis by a state-sponsored foreign power against a civilian population living under occupation. How could one witness a crime of this nature and not speak out? As an American tax-payer I feel complicit in this conflict and feel compelled to speak out. There continues to be many victims from both sides of this long-term issue. This is everybody’s business.

  2. Michael Johnson

    Bless you Lora.
    Violence against innocent civilians is everybody’s business. If, as you’ve said before, your passport gives you standing in the world and allows you to do good, then why shouldn’t your privileged white status allow you to do the same? Does the gentleman you speak of somehow maintain that supporting non-violence is a privilege reserved for only a few… for the oppressed?

    “And then they came for me, and there was nobody left.”

  3. Paua

    Yes. Violence only begets more violence.

  4. Lilly

    “They must watch on TV and players must play to an empty stadium because some people resorted to violence following a game a couple of years ago resulting in many deaths.”

    This is actually making it sound like it was “just” soccer fans who got so violent that watching soccer in stadiums was forbidden. As far as I know it was a planned act by the military/government and aimed at killing and weakening the common front Ultra Ahly fans had formed during the revolution .

    It is violence, I am not arguing against what you’ve said. It is just that this was state violence, even if in the disguise of “soccer fans” and not just regular soccer fans going nuts. To me that is an important differentiation.

    • You are absolutely right. I was in Egypt when it happened …. and it was state-sponsored terrorism in the guise of soccer fans. But my point …. violence, no matter who or how, is a dead-end.

  5. Brava, Lora. Well said.

  6. Pingback: My two cents – take them or leave them | لماذا غزة؟ Why Gaza? | circusbuoy

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