Let’s be up­standers, not by­standers

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Time for our com­fort to be af­flicted and shoot­ings fuel race-re­lated angst (July 9)

As I read both of the named ar­ti­cles I would like to put out a call to ac­tion to cit­i­zens of Hamil­ton. It was 15 years ago that 911 hap­pened and Hamil­ton launched the cam­paign of “an at­tack on one is an at­tack on all.” Faith groups be­came or­ga­nized and did amaz­ing work to­gether which con­tin­ues. What is missing is ev­ery­day al­lies, peo­ple who just know when op­pres­sion hap­pens in daily in­ter­ac­tions it is wrong!

I be­lieve peo­ple need to be al­lies to all who face op­pres­sion — in­clud­ing the LGBTQ com­mu­nity, the racial­ized com­mu­nity, those fac­ing Is­lam­o­pho­bia, those who deal with is­sues of class, ableism, sex­ism, ageism, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of op­pres­sion.

It is my firm be­lief that we all need to be al­lies when we see and hear op­pres­sion, whether it is a person telling a joke, talk­ing in the of­fice, or the writ­ten word.

As a white het­ero­sex­ual woman of priv­i­lege I am com­mit­ted to call­ing peo­ple on their be­hav­iours and hold­ing my­self and my peers ac­count­able.

We all play a part in cre­at­ing the world we want to live in. Let us not hide in the by­stander af­fect, let’s be up­standers. Hear it, see it, STOP it. Ruth Greenspan, Hamil­ton

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