UPDATE: Days later, as the House Democrats sit in to stand up against gun violence, it is incredible to hear voice after voice call for action—and speak out against the moment of silence—more eloquently than my own post did.
When a terrorist attack happens in the United States, we hold a minute of silence.
Silence, because the devastated can't speak, and those celebrating know to whisper.
And then, numb from the constant tragedy—from the shootings, and the rapes, and the racial & religious persecution that currently defines this country—we move on.
We move on...most of us never speaking about the traumatic reality, and determinedly ignoring those who do.
Because the alternative is breaking down from the overwhelming heartbreak. Because being destroyed by the horror of our reality is "weakness," and returning to a complacent norm is "strength."
Because while the devastated are still piecing themselves back together, vocal hostility swells to fill the silent void. And the silent just hope that the hatred will magically shout itself away.
Over twenty years ago, faced with an overwhelming likelihood of being attacked in our home or shot on the streets, without anyone speaking up, we moved to the United States for safety. But with a United States bullied and distracted (cat video, anyone?) into silence in the face of hatred, where can any of us turn now?
I can't find the words, but I know we can't stay silent.