Friday, April 4, 2008


"Silence does not mean consent. Silence means death. When we have something to say and we are afraid to speak, or forbidden to speak, we feel as though we've been walled into a closet... Here in America we are finding pressure to silence us coming from all three sources (government, market, public hysteria)." from Writing in An Age of Silence, by Sara Paretsky, Page 113.

To the Paretsky quote I would like to add that pressure to silence us also comes from employers, corporations, family, co-workers, churches, attorneys, politicians, etc. People are frequently being pressured to stay quiet about anything in their experience that might have been injurious, illegal, inappropriate, immoral, unethical, abusive, unjust, or just uncomfortable. Anytime someone is urged to "just move on," "forget it," "drop it, " or "let it go," they are being asked to go into denial and ignore something that needs to be addressed. The best possible response is to ignore the advice being given and continue speaking out on the issue. Speaking out could cost them their jobs, friends, and family, but not speaking out will cost them their integrity, self-respect, peace of mind, and possibly even their health. Those who urge victims of injustice, abuse, or other mistreatment to "just move on," may have good intentions, but there are similarities between pediphiles and child molesters who order their victims to not talk about the abuse so they can continue to abuse, and managers or supervisors who impose conditions of confidentiality on employees in an attempt to cover up unjust or injurious behavior.

There is value in researching all the possible options for dealing with the issue, considering the possible consequences of any action, and using the imagination and creativity in selecting new and original ways of addressing the problem. Timing and patience should also be taken into consideration. But there is no respectable or responsible way of not dealing with the unresolved issues of the past. We cannot move into the future properly prepared to care for it, if we are simultaneously neglecting the past.

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