Events of the last week have left me increasingly lost for words, yet, I am regularly reminded that saying nothing isn't an option because it tends to be seen as at best indifference and at worst collusion or endorsement.
It seems to me - maybe wrongly - that nothing I can say adds to what has already been said about actions of the US President or (the inactions of) the UK Prime Minister. It's a statement of the beeping obvious that this is wrong, unjust, inhuman, stupid... but if I don't speak it out loud, am I somehow complicit?
The photo above is one I am currently using on social media. This morning I added a 'Jude' star to it. It's no secret that I am, by bloodline, 25% Jewish, that under the Nazi regime I would have been an ideal guineapig for medical experiments (had I ever been born - my 100% Jewish grandmother and 50% Jewish mother would probably have been exterminated). Back in the 19th century, my Dutch (and Spanish?) Jewish forebears arrived in Britain, a place of comparative safety. At the start of WWII, my grandfather moved his entire family from rural Buckinghamshire to Glasgow because he feared for their safety if Hitler invaded. I expect, whatever our own racial or religious heritage, most of us have refugees or marginalised people in our family trees who have left their homes and sought shelter elsewhere.
To say nothing, is not an option. To say something is essential, even if we don't quite know what to say.
Over the last 24 hours I have "liked and shared" and I have "tweeted"; I have signed petitions; I have prayed; I have felt impotent and incompetent, but I cannot not do something, I cannot not say something.
So, two little bits of stuff to ponder! Firstly, what I wrote on my social media post when I added this photo...
I am Christian
I am Jewish
I am white
I am British (English)
I am woman
Above all, I am a human-being
And then, far more eloquent and timeless, the famous words of Pastor Martin Niemoller
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.