Silence can Hurt


This past week we had shocking news in Canada. Shocking that is to those who have never read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Reading that report is shocking. Every Canadian should do that. This week a mass grave site or burial ground was located adjacent to what used to be Canada’s largest Residential School in Kamloops B.C.

What do we do when we learn that 215 young children died going to schools where they were compelled to go? Children were taken away from their families to strange places often far away and where they were frequently abused. Many of them died there. They died in shocking numbers. The government knew that. It had been reported to them. And their deaths were never acknowledged. Never admitted. The bodies were simply buried. Often the parents were not even told their children had died. No one bothered to tell them. This is a stain on all of Canada. The world will watch how we react.

All of this is a product of racism that has not vanished.

I believe we have a duty to speak up against racism in our society. We must not look away. We must face it. It is real and it is here. I think at the very least we whites who have benefited from a system of racism that gave us a head start over non-whites must renounce that system, clearly, once and for all. This is no time to avoid the truth. This is time to face the truth publicly to let everyone know where we stand. As the Black Lives Matter movement keeps saying: Silence is violence. I don’t know if that is true, but I do know, silence can hurt. Standing by silently while others suffer injustice, particularly massive injustice, is nothing to be proud of. Once we know about it we had a duty to speak.

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