We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
~ Elie Wiesel
I should be working on edits to my next book, but the despondency I’m feeling right now is making it difficult.
Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated, and we said “Never Again.” But we didn’t mean it.
Today, January 27, 2017, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States of America, signed an executive order banning refugees from entering the country.
There are many political issues I care about, but this one is at the top of the list. One of the most influential relationships of my life was with a Muslim refugee. We said never again after his family was massacred, too. We didn’t mean it then, either.
I’ve spent the last few days being somewhat vocal on Twitter about my politics, but I’ve tried to limit it to Twitter, which is apparently the new political platform for the United States. That’s ending today.
I shared the following image on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and now, here. This is the dedication for The Blood Mage. The dedication was written before almost anything else. It was written when the manuscript simply said [Working Title], Changing Tides Book Two. It is perhaps the only thing about the book that hasn’t changed through its half a dozen edits. Today, as I reread it, I wept.
Many well-meaning people in my life have told me I shouldn’t voice my political opinion on social media because of my fledgling career. It’s okay for J.K. Rowling and Stephen King and Leigh Bardugo, I’m told, but not me. Those writers already have established careers. They’re not in jeopardy of losing readers based on politics, and if they do, it won’t destroy everything. But for me, I’m warned, it’s different. I don’t have a solid readership yet, and if I don’t keep my mouth shut, I might not ever have one.
To these people, I say the following: Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring about my future and my career. Thank you for knowing how important being a successful author is to me. That means the world to me. But I will not be silent. My writing isn’t, so why should I be? The Wheel Mages is full of political themes, The Blood Mage even more so. Those themes weren’t created in a vacuum. They were created by me based on what I saw happening in the world around me.
We cannot continue in silence. Not anymore. Not a single one of us. Every single one of us has a voice and a talent and now, more than ever, we must use them.
I’m a writer. Words are my resistance.