First They Came For (you?)
Here’s some food for thought, as we think about whose side we should be on , in this binary land of the free(?). Ask yourself, are you for:
Justice for All, or,
Injustice for some?
Without respect for all people, we place an asterisk on justice. There is no need to parse out freedoms like a card game — that’s what this country has done for too long. We should know better, but every generation moves us further away from sound recollection of the evils we shouldn’t want to repeat.
This poem was written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892 — 1984). I added a few contemporary references, to reflect this current season of hate in America.
FIRST THEY CAME FOR…
First they came for the Socialists (and Native Americans), and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Socialist (or Native American).
Then they came for the Trade Unionists (and ancestors of enslaved Africans), and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist (or ancestors of enslaved Africans).
Then they came for the Jews (and Japanese), and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew (or Japanese).
Recently, they came for Black people assaulted, killed and disproportionately incarcerated because of anti-Black racism, and I did not speak out — Because I was not Black.
They also came for Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid & other NFL players who stood up by taking a knee for Black Lives, and, still, I did not speak out — Because I was not an NFL player.
They come for Brown & Black immigrants. They come for members of other faiths, while talking about protecting religious liberties and freedoms. Which religions are free? Which faiths are entitled to liberty?
And, because they were EMBOLDENED by my silence, they separated families, imprisoned toddlers in “tender age shelters” , youth, mothers & fathers separately (they didn’t even care if babies were nursing), and finally, I started to speak up. But, did I wait too late? I allowed their growing mountain of lies to be twisted and pushed as truths. I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, but, my silence became consent.
They even come for America’s security infrastructure & advisors & veterans (including POW’s) & civil federal workers!
How will I reconcile with all of the lives that I allowed to be harmed with my silence?
They came for Obamacare with 70 failed votes. Yet, you gave them enough victories elsewhere — including with the Supreme Court & Justice Department firings & appointments & appointments, that they were able to build a team of unjust allies. Your acceptance of injustice elsewhere emboldened their injustice everywhere.
Then they came for ME — and there was no one left to speak for me.
When people show you who they are, believe them.” Maya Angelou. …
An immigrant mother of two was on the news, recently, weeping unconsolably, as she was being threatened with deportation. She and one of her two daughters will be “sent back”, while the other remains in the U.S. with her husband. He’s a U.S. veteran. He was, also, a Trump supporter. Their dilemma is just the latest tragedy in these government-sanctioned atrocities. It’s a stunning example of how you shouldn’t ignore the plight of others. Surely, they felt exempt from the fate of other immigrants. No doubt, the veteran/husband thought a vote for Trump wouldn’t be a vote against his family — but it was. Pledging loyalty to someone who harms others is never wise. First, they came for… When America’s streets have protesters who resemble Nazi Germany, it’s clear that we’re heading in the wrong direction.
As the U.S. War Department once warned Americans, through film, Don’t Be A Sucker. We have been here before — and we acted, together, to stop it. We can do it again.
Note, I reference the film, Dont Be a Sucker, in two other Medium posts, The White House on Maple Street — where Ringmasters and Suckers dwell & Politics Have Always been in Sports, because it is such an eerie reminder of our past. This administration tells lies in heavy rotation, so we must repeat the TRUTH with competing frequency.
Now, we have seen people shot in parking lots.
We have been murdered while worshipping -again. And, our leaders say the solution is more guns?
Leaders should inspire people to be better — not kill. We are made for better than the nation we are in today. We deserve better from those we elect. We are better than the evil that is around us today. Sadly, we have been here before — we cannot afford to stay here.
We need to get people in Power who are working FOR, not against us.
Run for office and or support those who are running, who support our strength.
#WhenWeAllVote we can make a difference. #IWillVote — will you?
Race & Racism cannot be ignored — more writings
A Changed Climate — America’s #HateWave
Being…While Black or Brown or Native or Immigrant
Florida. Florida. Florida. Wall. America.
Collateral Damage from The Hate U Give
Politics and Racism have always been in Sports
The Party of Racists — This is America
Pastors as Political Pawns — come Sunday
Call it Racism, Like We See It
For the Racist Adjacent
Racism is at Work — anti-racism advocates must work harder