They’re trying to silence us!
But it’s so much more complicated than that. Here’s where my thoughts and anger began:
Because I Need2Know
A few years ago I decided I wanted to be a more informed person. I constantly felt like I didn’t know what was going on in the world, and it was bothersome to me.
But that didn’t mean I wanted to start reading the news. First of all, oh my goodness it’s depressing. Second of all, it’s just too damn much. How in the world can you decide when you’ve read or watched enough? There are important events happening all around the world, and layers upon layers of information to unfold. It’s extraordinarily overwhelming, and without some sort of direction, I often chose ignorance over being inundated.
That was until I found the perfect newsletter (and no, they’re not paying me a single cent… unless they want to, of course). Need2Know is sent out five days a week, and has brief and supremely informative blurbs highlighting ten major stories of that day. It’s put together well–dare I say flawlessly–and it even gives me a chuckle here and there. If you want to be informed but don’t want your life made uncomfortable by the misery and abundance that is the daily news, then join the Need2Know party.
Anyhow, they decided to take the platform to the next level, and offer a podcast based directly on the newsletter. It’s currently my favorite podcast. It’s short and to the point, gives a bunch of additional information and commentary on what’s happening in the world, and does a pretty solid job of staying informative without much bias. And even the biases are often tasteful. Or at least done overtly.
But this post isn’t an advertisement for a fantastic newsletter. It’s a rant about one moment recently on the podcast, a moment in which I found myself screaming into the air while walking home listening the other day.
One of the two hosts, Jill Wagner, happens to be Jewish. And when anti-Semitism is ramping up hard and fast in America, she has a lot of trouble keeping her thoughts, feelings, and fears out of the cast. And you know what? It’s great. It makes it human. And I’m by no means the only one who enjoys when the hosts get emotionally involved in the stories they’re telling. She’s afraid, her fears are founded, and it’s of great benefit to all listeners to hear what she has to say about a subject that inspires passion in her.
But Some Seek Her Silence
The other day when I was listening, she expressed that she didn’t want to speak about the situation in Israel or the insane rise in violence against Jews in the States. Why not? Because multiple people wrote to her and said she should stop. Multiple people said she shouldn’t be discussing the topic because she is biased. And she told us, the listeners, that she heard us loud and clear and would stop discussing these matters. She was willing to be silenced.
And I went insane!
Where else does this garbage happen?
Let’s Silence Everyone!
Imagine the scenario: A black man is talking on a radio program about issues related to race in America. He fears wage inequality, police brutality, and a general racist undertone accompanying the daily routine of people of color. Someone calls in and says black people shouldn’t be the ones discussing such issues. They are too close to the subject matter. They are incapable of looking at the issues objectively and are far too biased to offer an intelligent, coherent commentary on the matters at hand.
What do you think would happen next? The country would be on fire. People would accuse the caller of being a racist. Everyone would encourage the man to continue to speak his mind, and site the call as a further example of racial bias. In fact, many would point out that not only is he qualified to speak out on the subject at hand, but he’s far more qualified than the caller specifically because he’s black.
His race is not what makes him biased or partisan or too close to the matter at hand. It’s what gives him perspective! It’s what connects him to the issue, far beyond just reading something out of a book or seeing some YouTube video on the topic. Many would go so far as to say only people of color should be able to weigh in on such matters, specifically because it’s about them. It’s their issue. It’s their world, not something to be overly pontificated by someone lacking the firsthand knowledge and experience of those who live the life every single day.
Jews Get a Different Logic
But for some twisted reason, many out there think all of this logic is tossed out the window when it involves Jewish people. We’re not insiders, connected historically and emotionally to Israel and violent attacks against Jews. We’re devious enemies seeking to impose upon others our utterly one-sided viewpoints on matters directly related to us.
But you can’t have it both ways!
Unless you’re prepared to tell black people to stop weighing in on black-related issues, or women to stop sharing their thoughts and opinions on any and all matters related to women, you better be able to accept that the Jewish people cannot and will never be silent on matters related to our own people.Unless you're prepared to tell black people to stop weighing in on black-related issues, or women to stop sharing their thoughts and opinions on any and all matters related to women, you better be able to accept that the Jewish people… Click To Tweet
We Shall Never Be Silenced
So, Jill, when the world gets in your face and tells you they don’t want to hear what you have to say, remember who you are. You are a fantastic journalist with an incredibly enjoyable podcast. And you are a Jew. And no matter what anyone says, you cannot separate who you are from what you do. And should never have to!
Our people has blessed the world with its presence for thousands of years. And we have suffered tremendously. We have seen everything and been through everything, and we have earned the right to weigh in on any topic of our choosing, especially those directly related to our people.
People have tried to silence us in the past. It really did not go well for us. We need to learn from our past. Being silent is dangerous. And speaking our minds is the only way we could ever truly be heard. No one tells us to shut our mouths. And if they do, we need to let them know that silence is never an option.
We will always speak our thoughts.
And we will never be silenced again!
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