SILENCE ENCOURAGES THE TORMENTOR

It is challenging not being an emotional wreck at the moment with the ongoing influx of news revealing a new normal which dictates that the bricks our shelters Liberty & Democracy have costly and laboriously been built upon be removed one by one by the craze of a man so full of ego, he can’t see anything past himself.

When adverse times come, our only hope for those of us who have faith is God, but for the rest, is courage, solidarity and the knowledge that we are not alone in the fight against bigotry, evil, injustice and abuse. We need to speak, and we need to speak loud and clear. Not just those who enjoy a platform from which they can easily be heard and guide others, but certainly more so them.

I woke up this morning and was elated to learn Richard Armitage had pronounced himself against Theresa May’s shameful delay in stating that she “does not agree” with the US ban on refugees. In his tweet Richard courageously demands her to “say it loud and with conviction”.

But therein lies the rub, because nothing denotes half-heartedness and lack of conviction more than speaking up for the truth and then taking it back by deleting all evidence that you ever positioned yourself one way or the other with regards to mammoth global game-changer issues such as refugees, women’s rights, bigotry, you name it. As well as tweeting about May, Richard went on to delete not only his touching Christmas’ message which gave hope and inspired thousands of us, but also his statement about the pride he felt for being at the Women’s’ March. I cannot even begin to tell you how winded that has left me feeling. Ironically, it has also taken the wind out of my sails.

Standing up for the truth and being counted ARE sacrificial acts which inevitably put one at risk of adverse consequences, namely verbal abuse, trolling, threats and even much worse. I get it. I am a passionate believer that only the truth can set us free and therefore speak truthfully fully aware of the backlash that pursuing the truth always brings with it. I get abuse, defamation, insults, trolling and harassment on an ongoing basis, but to me none of that compares with the peace one feels within, knowing that not only you are being true to your convictions but that when the pressure intensifies and when there is much at risk, you stand by those convictions and fight for them not with less resolve, but even more.

One cannot demand of others, in this case, May, to speak out loud and with conviction, if we ourselves are not prepared to stand by what we said. Richard’s tweet expressing his pride in taking part in the New York Women’s’ March got the most likes and retweets he has ever had on twitter by far, if I am not mistaken. That means this issue is one that matters to people, a hell of a lot! People applauded his courage in adversity, his courage to position himself one way or the other, specially significant because of his popularity and career. It is true to say that those who have much, risk much. So many of us were moved by his fearlessness to take a stand and make himself be counted against widely accepted misogyny and discrimination. Yes, the March wasn’t perfect and yes there were many women (and men) there behaving in shameful ways which do not represent me in the least and which had little to do with what the march was about, BUT the general gist and spirit of it was good and right and it spoke volumes about the power of solidarity against thugs and bullies who get away with “murder” when the rest of us choose to remain silent.

In the words of Ellie Wiesel:

screenshot-1169

I do not know the reasons why Richard deleted those two monumentally significant tweets and others in the past , but whatever the reason, I think we can all agree on the consequences that deleting them have. Some say that deletion is a way for him to cut the blood supply of personal attacks amongst fans/followers and towards him. And whilst that may be the case and may be effective for a while, the underlying currents of hatred and bigotry still remain and will find a new outlet. Yes, he received disgusting abuse and vitriol for his tweet about the Women’s march, often at the hands of Christians , I am ashamed to admit, but if we all buckle under pressure, we do more damage than if we had not spoken up in the first place. It gives an impression of lack of conviction, of wavering, of doubting that the truth you stood for is indeed the truth. For each tweet, affirmation or stand we take back, the “enemy” gains ground, gains support, gains strength.

And if there is one thing I am sure about Richard, is that his convictions are rock solid, he means what he says, his truth is his banner, his shield, his sword and the drum to which his heart beats, which makes the effect of his deletions all the more catastrophic at a crucial time in history when consistency, resolve and stoicism are required.

I can’t help but wonder if his latest tweet challenging Theresa May’s complacency and lack of courage, will soon be deleted too when bigots and trolls who feel threatened by views they do not share will go on a rampage to destroy what took so much courage to build. It is my daily prayer that this is not the case but ultimately it is Richard’s choice.

These are very challenging times for all of us and the weeks, months and years ahead will reveal the metal each of us is made of, indeed whether it is even metal we are made of. Yes, we are flesh and blood but history has taught us the unbeatable force the human spirit can be when we stand together fighting relentlessly for justice, truth and freedom. Sadly, it has also taught us the carnage that can take place when we remain silent or we speak but then discard the evidence of where we stood when it most counted, when it most mattered.

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9 thoughts on “SILENCE ENCOURAGES THE TORMENTOR

  1. I finally have a break in my day and need to respond to your very eloquent words about Richard and what’s going on currently in our very tumultuous world. I too was very saddened and puzzled about the deleted tweets that RA had originally posted and while I’m not sure just why he would do that I do wonder if it was due to the very harsh and spiteful comments that he received for standing up for what he believes and supports. I do remember that once he said that if he deletes a tweet it’s because he’s done with the discussion and is moving on. But recently he’s been doing a lot of deleted and makes me wonder what else is going on in his life right now. He deleted all references to the movie “Miles” without saying why (really doesn’t need to!) and I just assumed that it was because he was no longer going to be associated with the project. But when the posts were up he received so many negative comments and even I had to wonder why he would be involved with a project like this. I’ve also wondered if seeing so much hatred in those responses has brought up memories of his past where he himself was bullied and made the victim of others stupidity. It takes a thick skin to be an actor, I think, and he’s done a wonderful job with his performances. However, he’s also taken a lot of grief from others who have not been happy with his choices and after a while even the thickest skin will feel affected by such comments. While he seems to have moved on gracefully with his life, sometimes old memories and experiences do raise their ugly heads to try to bring us down. I hope he never truly lets that happen and unfortunately this is one of the painful consequences that comes with being a public figure. I always hope he is happy with the projects being offered him and that he’s able to be challenged in whatever project he accepts.

    But the one tweet that saddened me the most was the one regarding his LPR status and that he was sad to be on US soil. I have to admit that I was so deeply hurt by that one as I love my country and since it’s been his home for many years, I truly didn’t realize that he felt that way. I felt anger in his words and perhaps frustration too as I do think he’s enjoyed his life here in the US and hopefully has accomplished the goals he set for himself by moving here in the first place. But I also understand his wanting to return to England as for each of us, home is truly where our heart is and for him it will always be in England. I think he also realizes that when he does make that move it will be to return to a very different country from the one he left. Oh yes, he’s been back home on holiday and to visit family but to live there again is something more permanent. Both the US and the UK are and will be undergoing some very challenging days and years and given the response to Trump’s one week of presidency, it’s going to be a very difficult and soul-wrenching time for all of us. But I hope Richard knows that so many people here in the US love him and wish him happiness in whatever he does and wherever he goes.

    I’ve also read your words and others that would seek to encourage Richard to be more forthright and not only express his thoughts but to be a voice of reason in such turbulent times. What’s struck me the most about his deleted tweets was more what he replaced them with. When he posted his pictures and comments on his visit to the refugee center in Spandau I couldn’t help but believe that this was the real Richard we were seeing and will continue to see. I honestly don’t see Richard as a soldier in this battle for truth but more of a humanitarian who is concerned about and relates to the very individual people he meets every single day. I could tell he was deeply touched by his visit with the refugees and his heart was forever changed by their stories and their resilience to pursue the best life they can possibly obtain, no matter what country that was in. I so often wonder that whenever Richard is in the confines of his own home and his thoughts turn to what is happening in our world, that he relives his visit with these refugees and that tears come to his eyes along with his memories. He’s always said that he never sees himself as a “star” or the sole lead actor in a production but that he’s an ensemble player. In the play of life, he’s truly that and his support for the refugees as well as his charity work shows that he’s mindful and touched by those who can’t help themselves right now, especially children. It only proves how tender his heart is, how deep a think he is and how much he would like to change things for the better for everyone. I’ve said always that he’s proven to be a very good man and in this world of accolades and awards and praise, being a good man is the best compliment I can give someone like Richard as it’s a compliment and observation that is eternal.

    I do know that Richard will continue to stand for truth but I’ve also realized that he will do it in his own way and in his own time. That’s all we can expect for anyone and deleted tweets or not, I know he will live his life the best way he can and do what is best to bring hope and joy and comfort to those who need it the most. If we all can make just one person’s life better each and every day, then ultimately we will become a better people, a better nation and with God’s help, a better world.

    XO Cathi

    • Wow, Cathie! What beautiful words and I agree 100% with everything you say. If you don’t mind and with your permission first, I will like to tweet a screenshot of your comment to Richard.

      • That’s totally okay with me and I’m humbled by your desire to do that. I’m nobody to Richard but hopefully he knows that between you and I we are so on his side and together are seeking to make our world better and brighter and more joyful. I hope he receives both our words and thoughts in the spirit that it’s been given. Keeping my fingers crossed!

        XO Cathi

    • One can only hope that Richard has been advised not to get caught up in political matters he’s not been informed on properly. Actors finds themselves constantly in a make believe world, and tend to look at the world idealistically and not realistically. Which is why they rarely make good politicians. Getting emotionally caught up in events, especially when fed by whatever means used to distorts everything and everyone who poses a thread to their cause, is dangerous. We all know that discrediting Theresa May, is the oppositions tactics to keep on discrediting the Trump administration. Even the opposition press had to admit that Trump surprised everybody at the Press Conference. When it comes to Richard and what he advocates to strongly, it is ironic that the opposition have behaved exactly in the manner that he personally opposes. Not only in the comments made of the president, but towards his wife in particular and also his children. The whole world is looking at America at the moment, watching how the poison is spread not only by the media, but now also the people mislead by them. Although many people from other countries, of whom most have their own political agendas are joining in, the vast majority are disgusted and shocked, and have lost their respect for a large contingency of the American people. One can only trust that some sense will prevail, and especially mentioning God, because if we walk the righteous path that He prescribes, no one has anything to fear.

  2. I disagree that the fact that one is an actor disqualifies them from having an objective opinion on any given issue. Half the number of politicians are clearly delusional and believe their own lies. I hardly think an actor is unable to separate their professional life pretending to be someone else with their “real” life and find that Richard in particular has his feet firmly on the ground and his head well screwed on his shoulders. How can we not get emotionally caught up in events if it is the safety and protection of the least of these we are discussing here? Nobody is being misled or poisoned by the media here. We are all closely hearing, seeing what Trump himself is doing. The media does not affect my opinion in the least. I can form my own conclusions purely based on Trump’s behaviour and actions. Trump is the biggest illustration in our world right now of how not to follow in Jesus Christ’ footsteps, how not to be righteous, so if we are going to bring God into this, let’s get back to his word, Christ’s words, and see who is more Christ-like: those of us who are fighting to defend the rights of the least of these, to love our neighbour, to do onto others as we would like done to ourselves, or those who put themselves first and foremost, dictate and have a complete disregard for God’s word and make laws of the very opposite of Jesus’ teachings.

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