Words are Deeds

“A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will never return.” — Jewish Proverb

Another terrible week.  A domestic terrorist killed 11 people while they were praying.  “Kill all the Jews!” he shouted as he opened fire.

In the same week a man killed two people in Louisville after failing to gain access to a predominantly black church.

In the same week a man attempted to assassinate individuals whom he’d targeted as “enemies of the state.”

In the same week the Department of Health and Human Services began dehumanizing members of the LGBQT community.

I remember when politics was Elephants vs. Donkeys, blue versus red. Simpler times.

Something has gone terribly wrong.  How we talk about it matters.

In society and in business, allowing hate speech to go unchecked makes is openly permissible. Far worse, it makes it tacitly normal.

Leaders who allow this to happen are not leaders.  They are perversions of leadership.

Elected leaders who allow this are not real leaders.  Business leaders who allow this are not real leaders.  Community leaders, church leaders, coaches, teachers, mothers, fathers.  You.  Me.  What we tolerate and the words that come out of our mouths say something about our character, maybe our souls.

Without real leadership The things that we allow to be permissible can metastasize in to nightmares.

Real leaders find the best in people, urge them toward excellence, motivate them toward “the better angels” of their nature.

I am aware that this is a complicated problem.  The Klan has been around for a long time–it’s always been there.  I prefer it to remain marginalized.

We have to de-normalize it.  Society has to say: “You’re wrong.  Cut it out.”

Whether we allow racism, anti-semitism, or xenophobia to live in the open is an open judgement on our society.

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