We Must Speak

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know I have a tendency to be pretty vocal about any problems I have with our country’s erstwhile leadership. But for the most part I’ve restricted it to those channels and have tried to avoid posting about current events in the country on this blog (outside of my personal choices for the election), but I feel that now more than ever those of us who can speak out have a responsibility to do so whenever we can, for several reasons

Village Idiot Savant says:

“Third, write. But don’t write as you would for the consumption of social media, write instead to keep a record of these times. Write in long form, write reflections, write your frustrations, write with big words, write even if it appears you are rambling. Write with Art and with Irony. Because we will eventually emerge from this period of madness, hopefully to a season of sanity, and we will need to look back and remember, and if needed, to indict. Write because it will someday be history.”

That last part resonated with me. “Write because it will someday be history.” It reminds me of where we are currently with the Marcos legacy, with an entire generation having been brainwashed to believe that Marcos was actually a hero and a positive influence on this country, all because in the intervening years since the EDSA revolution we (and by we I mean we the people, not just the government) grew complacent and believed that exile was sufficient and that we would not have to worry again about such a dark time in our society to come back and haunt us again

And yet here we are again on a road, perhaps even a slippery slope, towards a dark future. Marcos is again being glorified, and the state is once again extending its reach with the similar excuse of “peace and order”. We do not yet know where this path ultimately leads, perhaps it won’t be the darkness many of us can foresee, perhaps we as a society are able to turn away from the brink before it is too late. There are those who believe it is already too late, that we are already in the darkest timeline

Even if our country falls under a shroud of darkness, like the darkness of Martial Law it will also eventually pass and hopefully we emerge on the other side stronger and wiser as a country. In the hopes of that light beyond the darkness, we must write. We must take our voices and speak out against what ills we see. It often feels futile, with many of our countrymen already having surrendered their wills to the violence. Many are unwilling to listen, many treat the current leadership as if they are infallible demigods who could do no wrong. Maybe there is really no one listening and you are but a lone voice crying in the wilderness. It is not for them that we need to write, but for those of us who still hope for a better future. And for those in the future to recognize and learn from the mistakes of our time

We must write and speak, while we still can. We don’t know whether we will still be able to speak up tomorrow.

In addition, we should write to spite those who would silence us for our opposition. For many of the administration’s supporters, anyone who speaks out is an open target for harassment and accusations most vile, as one of Rappler’s correspondents recently found out:

I can appreciate those of my friends who limit themselves to “like”s on the posts of those who speak up, or who limit their support to private discussions. Not everyone has the liberty to speak up. Not everyone can afford to sacrifice time nor ego to the possibility of a horde of online trolls pouncing on you. Not everyone can afford to be stressed out over this. Not everyone has the temperament to be willing to offend other people or risk losing friendships. All the more reason for those of us who are able to speak up to keep on going and to persist in the face of overwhelming ignorance and hypocrisy. The ones who cannot afford to speak, we speak for them too

One of the reasons I didn’t write about this too much on this blog is that I didn’t want this channel to become about politics. But it feels like so much more than just politics now. Despite what some fanatics may have you believe, we do not voice opposition simply because we believe in another camp or because we want to destroy the current administration. We voice opposition because we want the best for our country, and we believe that these issues – the continuing demonization of human rights and due process, encouragement of a culture of killing and violence, intellectual dishonesty and willful ignorance, and so on – are issues worth raising up and discussing

I am sure I have friends and family who are tired of me bringing up such subjects. At least one person has unfriended me already without explanation, although circumstances dictate it was about “politics”. For my friends and family, I apologize. If you are tired of me speaking up, please trust that I am tired too

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