Friday, February 17, 2017
In the face of outrage immediately after the November election, folks began pointing out that The People Had Spoken and it was time to unite, come back together as a nation, to get on with life and the business of being America. Even the psychiatric association reminded that remote diagnosis on mental illness and emotional instability was unethical and irresponsible under the profession's rules codified more than forty years ago. Yet division and criticism, seemingly based in hatred of the political, social and religious Other, continue and even have become institutionalized as part of some new America. When did this start? At least as far back as during the Vietnam War perhaps, which we came out of vowing never to repeat. In a later generation with the war on Iraq. Most recent, viciously concentrated with thinly shaded racism throughout the Obama years of bitter division and obstinate resistance to anything, everything. We are politically, socially polarized, evidently more definably and acceptably so than ever before. And set in concrete. We do not want to unite, and calls to come together, to unite are foolish, not realistic. It isn’t going to happen. We are on one side or the other.
There is a factor that the psychiatric association and those calling for unity and come togetherness seem to miss. Free speech, freedom of speech and assembly, free press. An intended government system of checks and balances. All characteristics of this particular democracy that keep us from slipping into repressive autocracy. And at the institutional and personal, individual level, responsibility to speak out. In history, silence, and silent submission, are judged fully complicit with all that happens. I do “silence” the wing nut fringes on my social connections, and I do not read far down into Comments on various websites before encountering, and cutting off at, vicious personal attacks that, like road-rage, come from the darkness of anonymity. But in democracy that is so fragile, it is crucial, even vital, which means essential to the life of, to speak out, not to be silenced by naivete that calls for unity and come togetherness.
We are not united. In our own Time, at least in my own Time, national unity has come at the cost of conscience and morality, humanity, and innocent life in incredible numbers. Who is silent in the face of evil is part of the problem. Opposition, whether the loyal opposition or the outraged opposition, is of the essence. Do not be silent. Silence, the enabler, may be an even greater sin, greater evil, than certainty. Do not be silent. Do not be silenced. Do not unite. Do not be united. Do not come together. I pledge allegiance to the flag, but ain't nobody gonna unite me.
pic: top 20170216 sunset from 7H
bottom 20170217 sunrise from 7H
Posted by Tom Weller at 6:06 AM