Saturday, November 1, 2008

On the Importance of Speaking Out & Speaking Up

Irshad Manji. Bernard-Henri Lévy (see also previous posts). Studs Terkel. Studs Terkel died 0n 31 October 2008. He never stopped listening and talking and celebrating those who worked and those who spoke out against injustice, unfairness, and idiocy. Bernard-Henri Lévy reminds us to think secular inorder to protect our freedom: the dangers of co-mingling religion and politics result in fanaticism, fundamentalism, fascism, and totalitarianism. Tolerance is not a virtue......when we are tolerant we allow fanatics to practice their hatreds. Irshad Manji's op-ed piece in the NYT reminds us not only that small acts of kindness live long in the universe, but also that individuals who commit acts of atrocities (Idi Amin in this case) cast long shadows and must never be forgotten. All three of these people ask each of us to take a stand, large or small, against bigotry, hatred of the "other", and exceptionalism. Universalism is the only answer to the rise in jingoism and nationalism.

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