As we continue our 2018 – 2019 journey, it is great to see our speakers take opportunities to remind us of the ugly reality and political chaos we are living through. One of our newer members, and club Secretary, Roy Campbell, who is a great writer, took the opportunity in our weekly speaking out session to share a great message that reminded all club members and guests why it is important to exercise our voice in order to retain the beautiful Canada that we all love. With Roy’s permission, and as the proud club President, I am sharing his speaking out session below. Thank you Roy!
Speaking Out, Presented at First Oakville Toastmasters on November 1, 2018
By Roy Campbell
Last Saturday, 11 people were killed while worshipping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Their killer was one of many people driven to violence by far-right hatred and alienation. The same week, another man attempted to bomb a list of political targets who are frequently demonized by right-wing politicians and media. The polarization caused by fear-mongering and increasingly brutal political rhetoric is costing lives.
This isn’t the world I was promised. I grew up with the idea that prejudice and political violence were outdated and rapidly fading away, yet the more I look at the world today, the less accurate that idea seems.
We have to put a stop to this. We can’t think that society will simply be fixed now that the suspects of these crimes have been captured, because there are many more people still out there who hold onto the same hatred.
It’s up to us, wherever we lie on the political spectrum, to resist this kind of violence and hatred wherever it is found; to call it out and say that it is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We need to change people’s minds when we can. But just as importantly, we must hold our leaders accountable for what they endorse or allow to happen, by speaking out and by voting.
Resist violence. Resist hatred.