“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
This quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu has always inspired me – and even more so in the past few weeks. What we have seen in the USA with the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests reminds us that we cannot take for granted equality and human rights and that our societies are unequal and broken in many different ways. This week a senior member of the European Commission said that such situations could not happen in Europe. I believe they are wrong. In Diaconia we see injustice, discrimination, and abuse all the time. The people we serve are too often the victims of personal and systemic prejudice and discrimination. We cannot accept this and we have to be stronger in speaking out and aligning our voices with those who call for justice – even if it does not directly apply to us. We also have to examine our own personal and institutional values and action – do we inadvertently cause injustice? Do we have systems and structures in place that prevent some people from reaching their fullest potential? Are we using our positions of influence and power to lift up those who do not yet have the same opportunities as we do?
As people of faith we cannot be neutral in the face of injustice – we have to ensure that everyone has the breath they need to live to a full life – that is our mission, our calling, and our responsibility.
Have a good weekend,