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Silence Kills

Published: June 5, 2020


I received the following message this week from Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry's. I found the results to be dramatic and horrifying when I followed his instructions, and I wrote, “My name is Marybeth. I am a 91-year-old white American woman. . . etc.”

Here is what Ben Cohen said:

Change the first two lines to your name and your identity, and share with as many people as you can.

Silence Kills.

My name is Ben
I am a 69-year-old white American man.
I can do, say, and be all of these things without fear (as can my family).
I stand with my black brothers and sisters.
I will not be killed.
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD's (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10-yr-old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).

This is reality.

from Marybeth Webster, South Mountain Friends Meeting (6/3/2020)