Last night, I dreamt that I was waiting on line with friends and there were three girls behind us (white girls). We all started talking to each other but one of the girls from the other group kept making horribly racist comments– something about foreigners smelling bad etc., bear with me, dream interpretation is really big in my family.
Her friends were super embarrassed by her remarks but didn’t say anything. I was becoming increasingly agitated and finally I turned to my friend and said, “let’s go”.
It’s just a dream, no big deal right, except that it got me to thinking about silence in the face of racism and prejudice. We all do it. It is so easy to point out the faults of others but so difficult to see the ugliness within our own circles. How many of us stand up to our friends and family members when they say something that we wholeheartedly believe is wrong?
Isn’t it infinitely easier to stay quiet, make light of the remarks, or just gently change the conversation. I know I’ve done it. Silence is not always golden, in fact, it can be deadly, the first victim– your integrity.