Today, at my school, and thousands of other schools around the nation, students participated in a Day of Silence. It is a silent protest to bring to light “anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.”However, silence is an ineffective tool against discrimination.
If you’re going to speak out about an issue, is being quiet a way of speaking out about it, or is speaking out about it a way of speaking out about it. Sure, the students are staging a protest, and that protest is silent. Why is it silent?
Think about a time when you were super angry at someone or something. Some people will go up in fire about it, while others silently slunk down in the corner avoiding contact with the known world. I find that when you are silent, not many people will support you. Conversely, when you speak out about the issue, you’ll get more supporters. It’s a matter of active versus passive.
Likewise, the Day of Silence protest is silent because people are passively protesting, not a good idea (as we saw in the above analogy) for gathering support for a cause. Silent protests are usually not heard either. Here’s some food for thought: you’re in a grocery store and there’s two vendors who are selling equally delicious appetizers. One vendor doesn’t say anything, and the other says “come try this.” Who are you going to go to? Of course. The point is, in today’s world, if you’re totally silent, no one’s going to hear you, whether or not it’s a protest or your shyness.
Being quiet is not the way to protest. People don’t see you’re protesting. On the other hand, speaking out about the issue helps a lot more. All the protests I’ve heard of are outspoken mass gatherings. I have not heard of one single protest except for this one which was totally silent. These protests do nothing. Sure, being silent may help to show your compassion for a friend who has been discriminated, but speaking out shows your compassion and it helps bring about change.
The Day of Silence needs to not be silent. Everybody knows that silence doesn’t speak louder than words, unless it’s a massive day of silence instead of just two people. People who don’t speak out are viewed as cowardly and weak, and that could cause more people to discriminate others based on race or sexual orientation. The issue of discrimination needs to be spoken about, not diminished by a day of silence.