“If you are complacent, you are complicit.”
This is something I have been saying for a while, but please allow me to elaborate as the recent events at our Capitol make this statement pertinent and timely.
The storming of the halls of Congress, the desecration of American symbols of democracy and the siege of our Capitol were done by citizens of the United States, not outsiders.
This is homegrown, organic hate that came as no surprise to many who find themselves on the receiving end of such hate.
But the problem is not the people who stormed the Capitol.
Yes, they are a problem, but they are not “the” problem.
The problem is the vast majority who allow such vitriol to fester despite clear warning signs.
And, no, I am not talking about politicians, who are now conveniently jumping Donald Trump's sinking ship and calling foul. Don't hang your coat on that convenient hook.
I am talking about you!
You who lets a family member remark about how the Black family that moved down the street has brought down the value of houses in the neighborhood.
You who lets a co-worker/colleague talk about how that dude with an accent that no one understands has stolen a job a real American could've had.
You who feels sorry for the woman proudly wearing her religious garb.
You who are intrigued enough by someone's different viewpoints on life yet don't engage in meaningful conversation.
You who puts up a defensive shield once one points out how your behavior and thought process, as benign as it may seem to you, hurts those on the receiving end.
You who does not acknowledge the privilege from which you look down upon the rest.
You who wants change but cowers at the thought of deep introspection and full personal accountability.
It is you, the complacent, who are fully complicit in where we are today.
I said my piece.
Ahmed Abdelmageed is owner of Mosaic Consulting, diversity and health care education consultants.