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Susan B. Anthony's The Perils Of Indifference

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Indifference is defined as lacking empathy or concern. It’s not having strong feelings about something one way or another. Lack of concern on a large scale comes at a terrible cost. If, for example, one doesn’t care about giving up freedoms, they will one day wake up and wonder why they are so constricted. If one is indifferent to the plight of the poor and homeless, who will be there to help them? Awareness is key in combating indifference. To spread awareness, or to point out one’s lack thereof, is an important step in solving the problem that is lack of caring. Two seemingly different speeches, one by Elie Wiesel who had survived the Holocaust and one by Susan B. Anthony who pioneered Women’s Suffrage, illuminate a recurring theme that a …show more content…
In his speech, The Perils of Indifference, Elie Wiesel suggests that during the years of what was to become World War II, before America finally became involved in the conflict, that the people in power at that time knew about the plight of the Jewish people. “And now we knew, we learned, we discovered that the Pentagon knew, the State Department knew.” (Wiesel) Wiesel speaks of the deaths of tens of millions of innocent victims at the hands of a maniacal brainwashing dictator. Grasping for aid on the wrong side of the guarded walls of concentration camps, they clung to the hope that one nation that could truly stand up and fight for them would “[bomb] the railways leading to Birkenau…just once” (Wiesel). Yet what happened but that one nation sat idly by, at least for a time. They were, as Wiesel says earlier in the speech, “bystanders” (Wiesel) and were doing nothing at first to intervene. On the other hand, in On Women’s Right to Vote, Susan B. Anthony speaks of centuries of having to remain silent while “the elite”, as it were, are granted the right to decide the fate of a nation, the nation that they helped form no less. They were belittled for being a woman or black and were forced to sit idly by while the privileged white male landowners ran the country. Clearly, in this case, while the oppression shown to women was indeed horrible, it does not show to be a root cause in the immediate deaths of millions of innocent …show more content…
A nation, or nations’, lack of concern for what was going on in Europe, helped lead to those millions of murders that could have been prevented had someone spoke up. Had America stormed Europe sooner, having known about what was going on inside the death camps, how many of those millions who had perished could have been saved? In a similar way, women were treated as less than equal to men when it came to the question of voting rights, an indifference that could have changed the course of American history had Susan B. Anthony done what she’d done two centuries sooner. Was it indifference on the part of the women who were being oppressed, just accepting the status quo of the time and remaining silent? Or was it the indifference of the men who didn’t care that their mothers, daughters, and significant others had no say in the way that the country they helped form was run? A closer truth might be the latter, as Ms. Anthony says in her speech, “And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government – the ballot.” (Anthony) She infers that men would flaunt their ability to vote around like a privileged aristocrat to the women they were knowingly or unknowingly

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