Now is not the time for silence

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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By: DeeDee Williams – West Point City Council

The past week has been a very dark and sad time for America. 

When the unthinkable has happened over the past four or five years, I and many others have said “This is not who we are.” “We are better than this.”  Well, Are we? Or is this precisely, who we are?

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Are we not making statements against these horrific actions because we agree with these actions?

Are we complicit in these actions?

Are we not holding our leaders accountable for the loss of lives last week at the Capitol? There were five people killed, two of which are police officers.  And yes, I feel sadness for all five of them, including those who may have been there for all the wrong reasons. They are someone’s family member who will, no doubt, feel the loss of a loved one.

Are we not holding our own representative to the US Congress, Drew Ferguson, accountable for his actions? Specifically, for signing to overturn electoral votes in an effort to overturn the presidential election results?

Are we OK with that ideology?

Leaders who supported that attack on our voting system and on our democracy have stained their hands with the blood of these victims. Do we all have blood on our hands when we fail to speak out against this dangerous attack on democracy?

I will end with this:  America, “who are we?”  Georgia, “who are we?”  Troup County and particularly, West Point, “who are we?” “What do we stand for?” “Who do we want to be?”

And if the answers to those questions are not the same, then what will each of us do to keep working toward a more perfect union?

Sunday was the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of the University of Georgia in 1961 by Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.  I’ve always admired the two of them because I could relate to their journey. 

As I read an opinion piece in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, written by Charlayne, I reflected on her statement that continues to ring true. 

I paraphrase:  She said, learn from history, history repeats itself.  Let’s all listen to the echo of the history of our past.   I challenge each of you to take a stand, do something, say something. Now is not the time for silence.