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The Responsibility to Raise My Voice and to Wield My Pen

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on June 10, 2020 at 2:20 PM

I normally stay away from current events and politics on this page, and tend not to post all that frequently at all, but this week is different. Yesterday, I posted some memes on my social media accounts that are decidedly political.

 

Today, I write my own words.

 

For over a week now, we have seen massive protests in the streets demanding change and demanding justice for a man murdered by a police officer. These demonstrations have forcefully challenged white supremacy and challenged America to do the hard work of dismantling a system that oppresses minorities.

 

I fully support these demonstrators. I fully support Black Lives Matters.

 

This should come as no surprise. I am a science fiction writer over the age of fifty. I grew up watching science fiction promote the cause of equality and of dismantling racism, bigotry, and prejudice for my entire life. Star Trek taught us about multiculturalism and diversity. Star Wars taught us to transcend racial barriers and stand up to fascism.

 

Virtually every science fiction book, movie, or television program that I have read or watched, wherein an enlightened society is presented, racism, bigotry, and oppression have no place.

 

It should be no surprise that I stand on the side of the demonstrators.

 

For those who are upset by large, disruptive protests, and who bemoan the lack of a quiet, dignified statement, I would like to point out that you got your wish just a few short years ago when a black quarterback did exactly that. He was soon joined by others, all of whom quietly took a knee during the Anthem.

 

Rather than listening and respecting their dignified protest, those voices that demand quiet, peaceful protests morphed into a torrent of rage, spewing hatred and demanding the players be fined, fired, or even locked up.

 

So now, we have mass demonstrations. Again. Perhaps if we had done the hard work as a nation decades ago, or even just a few years ago when a similar tragedy occurred, things might be different today ... but we did not.

 

I include myself in that "we," by the way, as I am as guilty of not doing that work in years past as anyone else. Perhaps even more so.

 

Some of you may choose to un-follow. Some of you may decide not to read my books. That is your right, and I respect that. If you walk away, I hope that my words stick with you, and that one day, you may come around.

 

As an author and as an artist, I have a responsibility to stand for something. My books are meant to be fun, enjoyable reads following the adventures of the Sci-fi and fantasy heroes I have created, and they can be read purely at that level. However, the characters and the worlds I have built are informed by more than just a desire to spin a yarn (or five as of this writing).

 

I have a responsibility to speak up and to make my views on these matters known. I have a responsibility not to remain silent.

Categories: Current Events

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