Slow To Speak

Have you ever had a real pow-wow talk with yourself? I just did. I had just finished reading my husbands post and began feeling a deep conviction. My inner Tam could not remain silent any longer, and she just put me in my place. It went like this:
 
“You’ve always stood up for what you believe. You speak with authority on matters close to your heart, things you have experienced.
 
You’ve spoken and written about domestic violence, suicide, abuse. Your biggest topic has been abortion and your stance on life. You defend the unborn and value its life – You value all life.
 
But do you?
 
You have been very slow to speak on many significant issues and recent events that involve life and its value and equality. And your cutesie memes are an expression, not your voice. They are no replacement.
 
I hear your thoughts. You’re afraid of offending someone or a group. You’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings or being misunderstood, so you stay silent. I want you to take a deep breath before I continue.
 
You’re part of the problem.
 
You have made your silly worries greater than they are – you have put them above others actual, real fears. You need to consider that your black brothers and sisters need to hear your voice, they may need to know where you stand, and that you see them, hear them, honor them, love them and that you value their lives as much as you do your own.
 
How will they know if you don’t speak?
 
You always say there is a fine line between a reason and an excuse – that reasons explain, excuses blame.
 
You’ve hidden behind an excuse. No, you have never experienced a hate crime against you because of the color of your skin. But that is no reason for silence. Stop hiding behind this excuse. You don’t have to be the authority on this critical issue to speak out.
 
Stop being part of the problem. It goes against everything you claim to be.
 
My name is Tam, and I will no longer remain silent. I know not yet what my voice will sound like in this, how this will flesh out. I do know that this last weekends events in #Charlottesville shattered my heart. It embarrassed me, made me sick to my stomach, angered me beyond words. The level of disappointment I’ve had while reading and hearing some white people’s comments, both acquaintances, and leaders has opened up my eyes to how alive and real and grossly active racism is in our country. I’ve not been living under a rock; I’ve just been unwilling to admit racism being as big of a problem as it truly is.
My silence is equivalent to tolerance.
 
I am sorry.
To my black brothers and sisters who may have been hurt by my silence – I am deeply sorry. I’ve been part of the problem. I see you, and I am listening to you. I want to help, not hurt. I want to learn from you. You have my love and you have my voice.