Whatever our political affiliation is, we can always do the right thing in a democracy...use your voice. Our founding fathers fought for your right to speak. You can speak vocally or by writing letters...letters to our representatives, letters to our local newspapers, letters to television shows we watch. It's free, and to companies...feedback is valuable. They pay marketing firms to get your opinions so its worth something. Particularly if your one voice just happens to match the other thousands they get. When I write using my e-mail, I hope the person receiving my message understands his or her responsibility to hear my message with my signature that includes this quote:
The Egyptians poured into the streets when they had had the last straw. They were silenced. Their voices via Twitter, Facebook, and Orkut were taken away when the government took away the internet. The Egyptian protesters were using their voice albeit in the non-traditional sense. It makes me wonder if the Egyptians realize by this one single event of turning off their voice via the internet that they were actually heard in unison without it. I had to ask myself, maybe our young Americans are using their voice in silence too. They talk amongst each other via these social networks. Will they discover as in Egypt that their voice is more powerful out in the open standing with each other? The British rebels that formed this country didn't have technology and knew the power of the people. What would happen if we shut down the internet in America? Would we start writing letters again? Would we organize because our cup has runneth over?
I wish that when Felipe was here that his fellow classmates and students of the local high schools would have used their voice. I wish they would have stood in unison at the School Board Meeting to voice their opinions about the injustice. But part of the system that silenced them is that he was put in the junior class. I know that as a junior in high school, I didn't have as much confidence as I had when I was a senior. If Felipe's classmates were seniors, I think they may have stood up with Felipe or any other foreign exchange student and fought for their rights beside them. I'm sure that their voices would have been heard and heeded. There is power in unison.
There is one small comfort in the irony of it all. Delbrugge is now teaching in Egypt. He denied a foreign student his American right. Now his Egyptian students who are not foreign students within their own country, are fighting for their Egyptian rights. The fight for rights and to be heard is the same universally. I hope he's watching and listening. I wish Delbrugge could understand the principles set forth by the founding father of the public school system ...Thomas Paine....oh if only his voice could be heard today.
“'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”