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May 26, 2022

The War On Words: Journalists The Modern Martyrs

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.

As I write this I am enjoying celebrating a federal holiday and I remind myself of the liberty and freedoms that I have.

In the midst of joy and a life filled with love and many opportunities I know that I am privileged.

I am privileged due to race, socio- economic status, education and geography.

This privileged life that I live and the many blessings are reminders that I also have a responsibly to speak out truth. I am a writer and I am called to write.

 As much I am called to write I am called to learn about what is going in my world and be an agent of change. As a social worker I am an agent of social change.

Each day that I work I  am reminded of the wars and political trials that world is encountering right now. I am reminded of wars, violence and the fact that many people have died this year and not just from the pandemic.

This is heartbreaking for we are so desperately trying to save people’s lives and yet people are dying due to events that humans can control. 

As I write this very article I pause to read a notification that comes in from my daughter about another US journalist that has been killed by Israli forces. I read her name ” Shireen Abu Akleh”, I do not know her personally yet I grieve her and all those that have lost their lives in the name of journalism and the freedom of speech.

This year my grief has transformed from the personal to the collective and then back to the personal for you can not experience one without the other. I think of the families that are struggling with extreme grief after their journalist love ones have have been murdered.

I doubt that anyone gets over such travesties. 

Here in North America we take for granted our own liberties. We take for granted our ability to live in peace and  share our differences of opinions regarding many things.

In  North American writers can write without fear of being killed.

This isn’t a political piece it is a philosophical one. This is the philosophy of liberty and change.

This article is about a call towards social change.

We can advocate for change and be the change we wish to see.

I am lifelong learner and encourage you to join me in this classroom. For those of us that are privileged to take days of off and celebrate holidays in peace I encourage you to explore what liberty means to you? What does the right to free speech mean to you? What does journalism mean to you? 

This past year my daughter has been sending me information regarding all of the journalists that have been killed. With each post and message my heart sinks. ” Write about this mom as journalists are the modern day martyrs” she shares and I would agree. 

I do believe that every writer and human needs to write and advocate for change.” I have no idea where to begin I offer”.

Not knowing where to start with the notifications and research that she sends I sat with the pain until it becomes too much. In order to write this I let the tears flood and I feel it all.  The truth If we sit in silence we become the problem and this is why journalism and writing is so important. Writing about difficult topics is similar to difficult conversations. We need to have them. We need to get in touch with our own humanity. We need to feel and we need to write.

Words transmute knowledge which can and does change people. Perhaps this why journalists right now around the world are being killed. Words have power and this is a threat.

Do you believe in the importance of the freedom of speech as well as the value of human life?

If the answer is yes this is what we can do. 

Educate yourself and others.

Support non – profit organizations like (CPJ) Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders as well as the United Nations. Speak out and advocate for change locally and globally. 

Say the names of those that have been taken and grieve the loss of life.

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