Reece Whitley: ‘Silence in the Face of Injustice is Complicity’; Urges Action Rather Than Just Words

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Reece Whitley on the podium after winning the 200 breaststroke at the 2019 national championships. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Reece Whitley took to social media to urge people to find ways and organizations to help — using action instead of just words to help bring people together in the wake of racial tragedies throughout the United States that have led to protests around the nation.

Silence in the face of injustice is complicity,” Reece Whitley posted on social media on Tuesday.  “The words of organizations in support of the Black community in this time of pain are more powerful than ever before.”

Whitley is an All-American swimmer at Cal and won the U.S. national championship in the 200-meter breaststroke this past summer in Palo Alto. He is one of the tallest swimmers in the world at 6 feet, 9 inches, and said having a powerful body like that can make him seem like a threat — even if he isn’t.

In the wake of recent events, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my family, and what would happen if it were me instead of my fellow brothers being murdered without hesitation. It’s undeniable that if me, a 6’9, 250 pound, dark-skinned man, was ever in the wrong place at the wrong time, fatal force would likely be brought my way. In dealing with this, it is very easy to slip into an unhealthy sense of isolation. If any brothers or sisters reading this feel a similar way, know that you aren’t alone,” Whitley wrote.

Whitley said he hopes his voice will help people continue to find ways to be active in helping, rather than just using words.

“Let this be a reminder to people that being an ally by donating to the many organizations working to make change helps more than you think. It takes just as long to post or tweet an ‘i feel your pain’ picture as it does to donate to meaningful causes. Help make a difference,” he said. “Now is the time to speak up and be supportive if that is truly how you feel. To those who have read this in its entirety, I appreciate your care, and know that your respect is sincerely valued.”

Check out ways to help here.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Bob Sommers

    I will make a donation today instead of posting another comment, at least for today. I wish for liberty and justice for all, for a change.