Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why I will not be observing One Day Blog Silence

No day of silence on April 30 at this blogBy now many of you, including those living outside the U.S., have heard of the murder this week of 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech by a lone gunman, a Virginia Tech student who turned the gun on himself and died also. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Some of you as well may have heard also of the One Day Blog Silence, the blogosphere's latest meme, which calls on bloggers everywhere to be silent on April 30 to honor the Virginia Tech victims:
All you have to do is spread the word about it and post the graphic on your blog on 30th April 2007. No words and no comments. Just respect, reflect and empathy.
The day of blog silence has been extended to include "all the victims of our world"--which I assume to mean all those who have also perished by violence.

What I am about to say intends no disrespect to the many good-intentioned bloggers--including those who are my friends and colleagues--who are participating in the April 30 event. It certainly in no way is meant to diminish the heart-breaking tragedy of these senseless deaths.

But I have to ask, why? Why be silent? What is the point? Why not use this as an opportunity to speak out? To rage against the machine? To stand up for whatever cause you believe in that will reduce human suffering or end violence? Provide better treatment and interventions for the mentally ill? Increase safety on college campuses? Take action against handgun violence? End the war in Iraq? The crisis in Darfur? Any one of the thousand conflagrations that burn around the world?

Or, better yet, get away from the keyboard and actually do something?

It will be business as usual at this blog on Monday, April 30. I won't be silent.