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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”

John F Kennedy

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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

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Well.

I admit.

I get in a shitload of discussions and debates with regard to athletes using the playing field to make a statement, actors & actresses using their celebrity status to make a statement and whether a business should mix business with social issues <which invariably seems to get all mixed up with politics for some reason>.

It is an odd discussion with regard to ‘staying in your lane’ in combination with does your career choice, or specific talent, preclude you from having a valid rational point of view on something else.’ What is less odd is, more often than not, this discussion is facilitated by someone (a) older, (b) white and (c) male.

Anyway.

First of all. I am a nothing. I am not a celebrity, a semi celebrity, an athlete or have access to any expertology platform.

Second of all. If I did ever have an opportunity to be in the spotlight you better fucking believe I would use the opportunity to say something meaningful.

I believe businesses do have a social obligation to society to be, and say, more than just a business <WTF … their employees spend more time there than in society itself so maybe they could foster some good societal norms in the business?>.

I believe people, in general, should speak up and out, regardless of their career, profession or social status if they have a valid point of view that they believe should be noted.

I believe people shouldn’t waste their opportunities to speak up and out and, therefore, should be less stupid if given the opportunity and as enlightened and articulate as possible if given the opportunity <use the opportunity well>.

I believe sometimes America is disappointing and sometimes it disappoints us and how you elect to point out that disappointment is up to you. But suggesting how you may elect to point it out <kneeling during an anthem, raising a fist, holding up a sign at some event, actually speaking out at an event or a show> is disrespectful to others is simplistic tripe <bullshit>.

Regardless.

I don’t give a shit if I am the only one who believes this.

And, frankly, it really doesn’t matter what other people think <the amorphous ‘general public’>, it’s what the person who makes the statement thinks <I recommend everyone listen to Michael Bennet’s interview on why he kneeled during a national anthem before an NFL game… good stuff>.

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“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.

Not to speak is to speak.

Not to act is to act.”

attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer but actually not his words

<but I bet he would have liked them>

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I think its stupid to suggest someone be silent simply because of what they do for a living. I think its even stupider to think that in a world in which the stupid seem to have little hesitancy to speak out.

It is important people speak up, and out, because the world has turned upside down with regard to reality where there is a small group of loud voices trying to convince us reality isn’t reality.

There is this weird alternative universe where up is down, bad is good and lies are truth. The weirdness extends to wrap a group of very loud opinionated people in a world in which they are the heroes and everyone else is a villain. It all creates a false binary world in which this batshit crazy group fights shadows and the non-batshit crazy people are forced to expend gobs of energy simply trying to communicate they are simply shadows; not real.

It is all weird. But … it is a war. And in war you don’t ‘stay in your lane’, you stand up and fight in anyone’s lane at any time.

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Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

(He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree)

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Regardless.

This isn’t the time to ‘stay in your lane.’ This is the time to speak out. Speak clearly and speak well.

Society always has a curious mix of talents and skills and potentials, but many of those things get wasted if not led “out” from apathy, ignorance or simply fear to become involved. I want to be careful here in the word ‘led’ because I am not talking specifically about leadership. Sometimes words and voices serve as keys to cages. Sometimes the system, empowered by few loud voices, cages the good so their potential never gets optimized. The corollary to that is sometimes a well-articulated view vocalized by someone ‘not staying in their lane’ opens the cages so that the good can gather and optimize “good’s potential.”

In the end.

I don’t want anyone to stay in ‘their lane.’ I want good people to articulate good thoughts if they have a good platform from which to do so.

Written by Bruce