THE COWARDICE OF SILENCE
One of the truly noble moments in the history of the U. S. Senate came in the early 1950s. At that time, Sen. Joe McCarthy was wrecking the reputations of many Americans by accusing them of communist sympathies. One day in a Senate speech, he waved a piece of paper on which he claimed were the names of communists agents in the State Department. Sen. Herbert Lehman walked toward McCarthy, saying, “Let me see that list.” Finally Lehman stood right in front to him, repeating again and again, “Show me that list.”
McCarthy never gave him the list, but his refusal made his accusations seem shallow and baseless. Soon the threat of McCarthyism was past.
People of honor speak up when another person is being attacked unfairly. To keep quiet is to barter a piece of one’s integrity on the altar of cowardice.