Silence Is Consent

That’s what my high school trigonometry teacher said.  He’d ask if we wanted a test on Friday, for example.  We’d stay silent, thinking we had no voice in the decision.  He’d look around the classroom, then say, “Silence is consent.  Test on Friday.”

I don’t consciously remember anything else I learned that year, but I still hear his voice:  “Silence is consent.”

And so it is.

If we keep silent, we consent to language that inflames anti-Semites, including one who massacred eleven jews at worship in Pittsburgh last week.

If we keep silent, we consent to language that inflames racists, including one who executed African Americans at a Kroger supermarket in Kentucky last week.

If we keep silent, we consent to the lies about Democrats and opponents of  Donald Trump that inflamed a man who mailed pipe bombs in an attempt to assassinate a former President and Vice-President, members of Congress, former federal officials and prominent citizens.

Silence is consent.

I don’t remember my teacher’s name.  I never imagined I’d be quoting him through-out my life.  But here he is.  Only years later do I realize what he probably hoped his students would hear and take to heart:

Silence is consent.

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