Silence implies consent

Sanne Burger

25 January 2021

Hey, you
Yes, you
I know you are awake
I can see it in your eyes
Why don’t you say anything?

I know you looked through it all, ages ago
Why do you pretend otherwise?
You go to work as if everything is normal
You lay on the couch at night
And pretend this has nothing to do with you

You just drink more
And you hardly sleep
And you are constantly anxious
But nobody needs to know that, you think

What are you afraid of?
Are you afraid of loosing your job?
Are you afraid your partner will leave you?
Are you afraid your children will loose their respect for you?
Are you afraid to give up your comfortable life?

Why don’t you say something?
Why don’t you look further than your own short term interests?
You know exactly what is at stake
You know how important it is that people stand up
That their voice is heard
En still, you don’t dare to do it

Where were you yesterday?
You know damn well you should have been there
You know it weren’t just a few hooligans
You look away when you see what happened on TV
When you see the violence of the military and the police
You are hollow with vicarious shame

You know your brothers and sisters were standing there
Where were you?
You weren’t there, because you didn’t dare to become visible
My friend, you are too afraid to break the rules
You hide behind your mouth cap
If possible, you’d wear an eye mask too

You don’t even dare speak out to your family
You hide for your friends and colleagues
You play the game, even though you hate your role
No wonder you feel so lonely

If you choose to pretend everything is fine
To smile at the neighbors
To not cause any fuss
The consequences are yours to bear

Why do you care so much, whether you are being liked or not?
Why do you care, whether your life will be turned upside down?
The whole world has turned upside down!

You know, also by doing nothing, you do something
By keeping your mouth shut, you silently give permission
Silence implies consent

Also when you remain passive, you are complicit
Don’t think for a moment that by doing nothing, you can escape responsibility
Don’t think you can get away with it
Nobody gets away with this one

If you are awake
Then please, support the great awakening
Say something!
Do something!
Don’t just sit there with a glazed look in your eyes
Hoping nobody will see you

You have already been seen
And your comfortable life is gone, anyway
So you can just as well come and help us
We need your strength!

©Sanne Burger


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