What if…

What if one has the privilege of not directly experiencing or even witnessing firsthand injustice in front of one’s eyes?

What if one never has to know what it feels like to be lynched, whipped, raped, chained, mutilated, enslaved; or know the pain of witnessing a loved one being killed without being able to do anything about it?

What then? Is that carte blanche to ignore, to pretend, to do nothing?

Activists are the people who realize that their own privilege- the privilege of not witnessing atrocities, the privilege of being heard, or having the resources to survive- is a responsibility to this world.

A lot of us, when we were kids, couldn’t stand to see a starving stray cat. “Its not right,” we’d think, “Something has to be done.” Then, somewhere between ages fifteen and twenty-five, the feeling fades. We shut up. We get “real”. We learn to mind our own business.

– Taken from “A Thousand Sisters” by Lisa Shannon

I read this and want to weep. Life is unfair. For them. For me. And yet, somewhere in this, there is a calling to do something. To not sit back and just ‘get real’, but to take up this responsibility and make my voice heard. For those who have no voice.


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