The Danger of Silence

When he was a kid, slam poet and teacher Clint Smith once gave up speaking for Lent. He found that his silence allowed some of his classmates to be bullied—and that he must use his voice to speak up for truth and justice.

In this captivating TED Talk, teacher and slam poet Clint Smith lyrically reflects on the danger of silence. "Every day, all around us," he says, "we see the consequences of silence manifest themselves in the forms of discrimination, violence, genocide, and war."

Smith didn't always value speaking up. Coming from a Catholic family in New Orleans, he’d already given up junk food and soda for Lent, so he figured giving up his speech one year would be no different. He soon realized, however, that he was permitting bullying in the halls of his school and ignorance in his community through his silence.

Smith encourages us to examine the areas in our lives where we've been silent, and to raise our voices for justice.

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