DON'T Shut Your Mouth

Over the years I've come up with a bunch of silly New Year's Resolutions like drink more water or hang up my coat. Well, this year, I've just got one: Don't stay silent.

Now you might think, "Gee, Jen, I didn't know that you stayed silent on much. You're kind of a ranter and you tend to yell a lot. Are there really things you're staying silent on?"

YES. There are. For instance, when I see someone in public behaving badly, I tend to steer myself away from them, I don't want to get involved, I'm exhausted. Over the years I've begun to feel worn down. I feel like, "What's the point? I'm never going to change anything." Well, it's time to make a scene. It can make a difference. There is a point. It's time to call out bad behavior when I see it. Loudly and clearly. When I witness even the smallest acts of racism or sexism or homophobia or xenophobia or whatever, I will no longer shrug it off and mutter, "Asshole" under my breath and hope that someone else educates them. Instead, I will speak up and I will say, "Hey, that's wrong and here's why."

And when I see blatant racism like this piece of shit JC Penney shopper who ranted like a maniac, I won't stand there silently. I won't listen to an angry, scared old woman yell at Latina shoppers, "Go back to where you came from" and "I bet you're on welfare!" and then ultimately bring it all back to Donald Trump, because of course she did. I will sing Kumbaya and I will ask, "What would Jesus do right now? I'm pretty sure not tell someone to go back to where they came from or speculate how their purchases are being made. Or brag that he voted for a pussy-grabber." I will teach her some facts. Like the United States actually has no official language. And, unless you're a Native American, you're the descendant of immigrants who once came here and probably didn't fit in real well at first. 

If my singing and WWJD and learnin' her doesn't work then I will tell him or her to shut the fuck up. I will say it loudly and repeatedly until I'm dragged out of the store. When you watch the video you can see that people are uncomfortable, but they don't do anything. They need to SPEAK UP. The other racist assholes sure did. Did you hear that person off-camera goading this old lady on? But no one else said anything. They all just stood there, wide eyed and giggling and probably thinking, "Holy shit, this is crazy!" That's not enough. Good people need to say something, too. Staying silent doesn't do any good. When you stay silent, you're part of the problem. We teach our kids that bullying is wrong. That kids need to stand up to bullies and they need to defend those who are being bullied. Why is this different? Why do we just stand there like a bunch of mutes when this sort of thing happens? How is that my 12 year old is braver than everyone else on this line? This woman felt emboldened because no one told her to sit the fuck down. 

This year, I will be the one to tell her and others like her to close their ugly mouths. I'll be the one to tell them that they're horrible fucking people. I hope you'll be there too and you'll yell, "NOOOOO!", "Leave them alone!", "Stop it!", or even "Yeah, what Jen said!" It really doesn't take much more than that. Be brave. Be bold. There are more of us than them. WE are the silent majority, STOP being silent. We are in the right! Tell them to crawl back under their rocks! Tell them to go back to where THEY came from, because we don't want THEIR kind here! 

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