“They Came First for the Communists,And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.Then They Came for the Jews,And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.Then They Came for the Catholics,And I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.Then They Came for me,And by that time no one was left to speak up.”
The quote above has been presented to me several times over the years in different contexts and different educational situations. Reading some of the information in the news today it is just scary. It is scary when there are people are trying to enact laws saying I am unable to speak my mind. It is scary when we don’t stand up for others. How often have you said “I don’t care what “they” do, it doesn’t affect me.” By saying that we are often trying to be tolerant of others but are we ever doing more harm by not advocating for other’s rights instead of just “tolerating” them.
It can be a tiresome path standing up for others but it is essential to ensure freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of choosing the path that best suits me to name a couple of freedoms I don’t want to do without.
I hope I am able to speak up when necessary and hope that others can find the courage do the same.