"You are not making any difference by posting these things and getting into controversy". Although statements such as these are quite frequent these days (directed towards me), it also helps me take a few minutes, stand back and reflect on what my position is on certain matters (seemingly non-urgent, however, massively impactful) for our lives, and society overall. Naturally, we must do something about it. Isn't it?
At first, I used to wonder, how is it that in the most advanced country of United States of America, where one has the right to the freedom of expression and freedom of speech, one chose to question this? As outrageous as it sounds, it feels quite threatening. Why would one have a right to silence someone from doing what s/he knows best? Expressing... Speaking... Writing, that is!
The Pareto principal, known widely as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few. A principal that states that, for any events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. These days, 80/20 concept is popularly applied in all aspect of life and management. For instance: 80% of the problems occur due to 20% of the issues. 80% of the productivity is achieved by the 20% of the work. Similarly, 80% of the problems occur due to 20% of the bad players. Meaning, 80% of the good people doesn't speak out because of the 20% bad apples, who wants to suppress them.
I ask, why can't those 80% good don't do anything about it? If they do, the bad will be gone soon. Although common sense is utterly simple, answer to this is complicated. Yet, reasons are quite profoundly shivering and deeper than psychological boundaries.
When we define someone 'good', what does it usually mean? Morally and ethically right usually, they want good for others, usually are much simpler and kindhearted personnel, and have a big forgiving heart. Their integrity level is so high that they are not persuaded by materials, or greed of money. They simply want peaceful lives, don't like to get into any controversy, don't want unnecessary attentions that can harm them, their children and family. Their peace-loving quiet nature does not do well with conflict. They think that, not getting into conflict or conversation somehow will help the lingering issues disappear.
But the 20% bad had it all covered, their anger and uproar can be heard from miles, they speak loudly in the effort of suppressing the humble and good-natured beings. They come in large pack and extremely violent. The louder they roar, more they are feared. They try their best to shut the other side down, silence the voice, scare them with fear. 20% of the bad ones are so strong, so dominating and so intimidating that 80% good usually are frightened by them.
What does the 80% do? They shut down. They decide to look the other way, ignore it, not pay attention, not talk about it fearing they will lose friends or acquaintances or get into controversy...[until perhaps, those issues starts impacting them personally...Selfish? Perhaps]. If anything else, well-wishers will support you, hear you, would not silence you.
We are entangled with everyday issues that impact us, our families, our communities, globally. Our hearts must bleed, when we see injustice. Our hearts must cry because it is wrong morally and ethically. We must be empowered to say what's right. We must be empowered to say the facts as is, not hide under the fear of controversy, not shove them under the rug. Why the FEAR?
We just experienced an extensive media coverage of racially biased hate crime hoax doctored up by Hollywood Celebrity Jussie Smollett (himself). Not only he planned and staged the attack on himself, and paid his costars to carry out the show, he also continually denied about it, went onto 'Good Morning American' for a interview, painted him as a 'victim', He had many influential presidential hopefuls (of 2020) rally with him on the hate crime against homophobia. He carefully orchestrated the attacked to frame the supporters of the sitting President. After he was arrested and bailed out on $100,000, it was also revealed that he was unhappy with his pay of $125,000 per episode at the show Empire. What is even massively painful and utterly vacuous is, after all these, the main stream media, his high profile friends are painting a picture of 'victim' and justifying his action was right? Anyone who called it out, was labeled, was threatened! He was believed because his story had ample amount of juicy components that fit the bill of current landscape, news will sell - a denial that is too obvious to ignore. So, lying and staging a hate crime, framing innocent people is a right? Is that the legacy we are leaving for the next generation of children?
Hoda Muthana, the muslim girl born to a Yemeni diplomat to the USA, who decided to declare war against United States, left to join ISIS when she was 19. After 3 marriages, 5 years of contentment fighting for ISIS, she is forcing US to bring her back to Alabama, because she claims she had a passport and had a birth right US Citizenship. Controversy around her birth is not clear as of yet. As a child of diplomat she does not have American birth right citizenship automatically, law says. Regardless of it, how can one declare war against America, fought for ISIS, and demands to return? How is that right?
Few days ago, an 18 year old Ismail Hamed, a muslim born in America, called and attacked a police officer in Arizona, with knife and rocks. What was his problem? He said, he wanted to talk to authorities about the suffering in Palestine, and issues in the Middle East "I'm owing my allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria". Video captured by the body camera of the police officer showed, he was threatening the police officer and also told him to shoot, was charged with making terrorist threats. I question, should not this be alarming?
Covington boys wearing red MAGA(Make America Great Again) hat with an American Indian man, caused an uproar in United States in the last few weeks. Hollywood celebrities, to politicians rushed into judgment, before all the facts were collected, striping the boys off, and harassing them. Ingredients were right for the hate based stir, red MAGA hat that President Trump made famous is constantly under attack now, was the major media attraction of this negative news. After a few weeks, attorney of the boy has issued statement of harassment and sued Washington Post for $250 million. According to the lawyer Robert Bernes, they are going after everyone who has rushed to judgement and hassrased the children, including CNN, Kathy Griffin and many others. Let's say the children gets their justice by fines from Washington Post. Should we ignore or brush off the damages done to the society by these kind of fake hoaxes? Should they be forgotten and taken lightly? Should the participants be not held responsible and accountable?
Couple of days ago, it was reported that, a police force, in (Liverpool, England) which rejected a "well prepared" potential recruit because he is a white, heterosexual male has been found guilty of discrimination! Is 'diversity' favored over competence?What kind of chaos are we leaving to our children?
Today, we see that even elementary school children are used as a pawn to influence a political agenda. Advancing political agenda is much more important than the a child's childhood? What do the 8, 9, 10 year old understand anything about politics. Shouldn't they be playing with their toy car and baby dolls instead of pressurizing a senator to vote for a policy, or teach her how to do her job? What have to come down to as a society?
These kind of stories are much common these days. We must ask ourselves a question...why can't we talk about it? Why can't we express what is bothering us?
If your heart does not feel those harassed everyday, then you are not alive. If you are willingly choosing to not see the injustice, then you are blind. If your heart is unable to hear those innocent voices, you are deaf. I say, if you heart does not bleed enough to make you speak up, then you are not living a life.
Would you rather be born as a blind, dumb and deaf? What's the point of our life, in a time of such sensitivity and racial crisis, if we cannot even express our views without getting labeled, called all sorts of name or causing a controversy? Should everything be controversial, even the freedom of speech and freedom of expression?
My contribution IS through speaking up.I am making a difference by speaking about the issues, expressing the other side of the story that does not get heard much, raising awareness of the gaps, bringing visibilities where it is much needed? Are we supposed to stay quite? Are we supposed to be goody-goody so everyone likes us, simply agree with the things that we don't align with, so we build some kind of superficial 'friendly' relationship? Are we here to please everyone else but listening to what our heart is whispering to us? Are we to keep all the voices, silenced forever?Are we?
Our culture is changing rapidly, social weather is going through tremendous racial battle and identity crisis. Businesses are constantly getting entangled with these battles. This sensitivity is not ending soon...! Are we supposed to WAIT, until we are in our death bed to talk about what we should have done instead?
I SAY, "Speak up", even it means sacrificing everything. You will be labelled (almost immediately), they will intimidate you, they will criticize you. Still, I SAY, Express and Share your views. WE MUST! Life is too short, who knows which moment becomes our last? Then, why the fear?