Contributing to violence by our silence?

Drummond Pike, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle asks:

When do people know they are contributing to intolerance that may lead to violence? When is silence complicity? When is it time to stand up to those voices and say, “Enough”?

On Monday afternoon, the Oakland Police Department called the Tides office to inform us that the man who survived a shootout with the California Highway Patrol last Saturday night had intended to target our organization. It was shocking: an American seeking to rain terror on fellow Americans.

In disbelief, we have watched events unfold resulting in the news media reporting that we were one of the targets. And others in the media suggest a connection between this sad soul’s violent intentions and the frequent, inflammatory and highly inaccurate portrayal of Tides promoted in the conservative media.


This incident serves to remind us that it should be the obligation of every American, especially those whose voices are amplified by the media, to foster civil discourse and dialogue among those who may disagree about public matters. One does not win an argument by inciting troubled people to violence. As Americans, we know we can best solve problems when we reach broadly across boundaries for the best of ideas.

Intolerance that closes our eyes defeats our aspirations. It is time to speak up because we all have a right to lead safe, productive lives without fear.

Past Posts