Speak Up or Remain Silent?

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In ‘Why we kneel, How we rise’ West Indian cricketer Michael Holding talks to Hope Powell about her experiences of racism. Powell, became England Women’s football manager in 1998, the first black coach of an English national sporting team:

‘As a black person, when you have an opinion, or you disagree with something, some people don’t like it. If I was white and male I would be OK.’

Holding concludes: ‘If you stay silent nothing changes. If you push back you are a trouble maker.’

Speak up or remain silent?

In Les Misérables a man believed to be Jean Valjean has been arrested. Should Valjean speak up or see an innocent man condemned:

He thinks that man is me
He knew him at a glance!
That stranger he has found
This man could be my chance!

Why should I save his hide?
Why should I right this wrong
When I have come so far
And struggled for so long?

If I speak, I am condemned.
If I stay silent, I am damned!

Speak up or remain silent?

Jane’s boss Roger has been mistreating some staff, cutting corners, not listening… If she reports him, Roger will be angry, will think Jane’s disloyal; if she stays silent things could go badly wrong… people could be badly hurt.

I’ve seen Jane’s dilemma repeated many times in work places, community groups, churches…. Speaking up would cause a lot of trouble and probably wouldn’t solve the problem; remaining silent would condone or cover up the wrong…

Speak up or remain silent?

Musing… St Paul’s wisdom: ‘Speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15)

It’s context: we’re all different; we shouldn’t expect to be the same. Yet in our differences there should be unity, consistency, integrity…

Loving truth-speaking requires loving truth-listening; we engage in it together; learning to do it together it leads to growth and maturity…

Speak up or remain silent? It’s not just what you say; it’s how, when and why you say it.

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