Where is our backbone to hold up and stand for truth?
To clear the cloud of doubt and timidity that fogs our view of the truth and the justice people need and deserve.
In Seattle, too often I have seen this unwarranted yet seemingly pre-agreed-upon timidity and fear when it comes to addressing problems or issues. When serious challenges arise, this total reluctant culture kills everything.
In the face of blatant wrong, it’s like everyone knows that it’s not okay, but people are still asking irrelevant questions and making undirected dismissive statements like, “I don’t know, maybe we’ll just see how it goes,” or, “But is there anything else we can do other than ... .” How about justice?
Maybe it’s a situation in your team at work, maybe it’s a scenario of a housemate who is a pathological liar.
Sometimes it’s racism in the work place. But there’s this fear of what a whole situation would look like. Sometimes it’s easier to blow it off as a “misunderstanding,” and truth doesn’t get seen because people don’t want to believe the possibility of what unfortunately sometimes happens.
Maybe it’s White privilege protecting itself. Maybe it’s trying to be too politically correct. Maybe because it feels like biting the hand that feeds you.
But what do you do when wrong is wrong? Do we dismiss it and throw it aside to fester and continue because it’s integrally inconvenient, or because it means that something I don’t want to believe could be true?
God forbid: Don’t let this undecided, wishy-washy, justice-reluctant poison come in to a conversation surrounding children and their safety. Don’t say, “I don’t think they meant it.” Don’t say, “Do we really need to?” Don’t shrug your shoulders and say, “We’ll check in next week; let’s hope for the best.”
Don’t put makeup over the bruise and say, “I really think they mean well.”
Don’t keep toxic work environments because “It’s really hard right now.”
If you know, and like you low-key know everyone else knows, then you know you know.
As written in Second Corinthians nearly 2,000 years go: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses let it be established.”
Believe stories told in paper or the injustice standing like an elephant in the room and call it out.
People’s lives, safety and health depend upon it.
Gui Jean-Paul Chevalier is a Seattle-based recording artist and author from rural Washington, living counter-small-town mind for the cause of humanity. Read previous columns from Gui.
Read the full May 17 issue.