Biting Our Tongues Doesn’t Keep Us Safe … It Only INCREASES Danger In the Long Run

First They Came …

Preface: German pastor Martin Niemöller initially supported Hitler. But he later opposed him, and was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp for years.

Niemöller learned the hard way that keep your head down doesn’t keep one out of trouble … in the long run, it increases the danger to all of us.

Niemöller wrote a brilliant poem – First They Came – about the manner in which Germans allowed Nazi abuses by failing to protest the abuse of “others” … first gypsies, gays, communists, and Jews, then Catholics … and eventually everyone.

This is my modern interpretation of Niemöller’s poem …

 

First they tortured a U.S. citizen and gang member
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a criminal

Then they tortured a U.S. citizen, whistleblower and navy veteran
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a whistleblower

Then they locked up an attorney for representing accused criminals …
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a defense attorney

Then they arrested a young father walking with his son simply because he told Dick Cheney that he disagreed with his policies
I remained silent;
I’ve never talked to an important politician

Then they said an entertainer should be killed because she questioned the government’s version of an important historical event
I remained silent;
I wasn’t an entertainer

Then they arrested people for demanding that Congress hold the President to the Constitution
I did not speak out;
I’ve never protested in Washington

Then they arrested a man for holding a sign
I held my tongue;
I’ve never held that kind of sign

Then they broke a minister’s leg because he wanted to speak at a public event …
I said nothing;
I wasn’t a religious leader

Then they shot a student with a taser gun and arrested him for asking a question of a politician at a public event …
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a student

Then they started labeling virtually every innocent and normal behavior as marking Americans as “potential terrorists”
I remained silent;
I didn’t want to be called a terrorist

Then they threw political dissenters in psychiatric wards
I remained silent;
I didn’t want to be seen as crazy

Then they declared that they could label U.S. citizens living on U.S. soil as “unlawful enemy combatants” and imprison them indefinitely without access to any attorney …
I remained silent;
I didn’t want to be labeled an enemy

Then they assassinated an American citizen without any court trial
And they killed his son because he should have had a “far more responsible father”
I remained silent;
I live on American soil

Then they declared that they could assassinate U.S. citizens living on U.S. soil without any due process of law (update) …
I remained silent;
I didn’t want to be on the list

Then they forced down the airplane carrying the president of a sovereign nation, because they were looking for a whistleblower
I remained silent;
I’m not a foreign leader

Then they called for the founder of an independent publisher to be killed by drone
I remained silent;
I don’t want to worry about drone strikes against me

Then they started spying on all Americans, even though top experts say that doesn’t protect us from terrorism
I remained silent;
I didn’t want to call even more attention to myself from the spies

Then they detained the partner of an investigative journalist for 9 hours under terrorism laws – and denied him the right to call a lawyer – as a way to intimidate the journalist
I remained silent;
My wife isn’t a journalist

When they came for me,
Everyone was silent;
there was no one left to speak out.

Postscript: I originally wrote this poem in 2007. I have updated it with additional verses as current events have unfolded.

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  • Drdetroitdanchap

    SILENCE is SUICIDE

  • Dr. Pitchfork

    Effing brilliant. Had forgotten what an a$$hole Dick Cheney is.

  • cinnamonb

    Very good. I also just recently did my own take on this poem – though certainly not with the great specifics you had.
    Feel free to visit and read it at: http://cyberwindow.blogspot.com
    May I also make another comment? I do have a Google account (as I have that blog – but the way you have things set up – it wants to share with discus – and that I think is very questionable – I think they even want to track you if not signed in. Also, I checked I’d rather post as guest and it wouldn’t go through unless I picked a name and put in my e-mail. I would think with the privacy concerns you good folks must be aware of, couldn’t you do a better system?
    Thanks.

  • LeftoverHuman

    Never give up, Never give in.
    Resistance is mandatory if you want to live.
    http://www.aeinstein.org/selfLiberation.html

  • https://twitter.com/richcash8 RichCash8

    One of my favourite poems, thanks

    Vote the bums out

    http://amzn.to/14T44Bh

  • Mysticalfilmaker

    How about this? “When they came for me, I blew the mfkrs up with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, videotaped it, put it on YouTube through Anonymous, and the rest of us mobilized to free our brothers & sisters from the FEMA Camps!”

  • Washington76

    As in the video, history shows that this is the only way to stop tyranny; basically, they will go as far as you let them – you just can;t let them. Look it up! Study the video! EVERY SOCIETY FALLS EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. When the fundamentals of freedoms are ignored (like they are now), tyranny is not far behind. If you’re expecting that voting, political action, protesting, petitioning or for the government to hear you and change on its own, forget it! HISTORY SHOWS THEY NEVER DO! Sorry, but the Founders agree, wholeheartedly!

    Modern day, too: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is our right and our duty!

    “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God” – Benjamin Franklin

    The five fundamentals of freedom are:

    1) limited government

    2) the right to due process

    3) the right to the presumption of innocence

    4) the right to dissent

    5) the right to be armed

    EVERY ONE OF THESE IS GONE OR UNDER ATTACK, RIGHT NOW!

    “It Can’t Happen Here!”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2ebudnWlh4

  • shocker147

    The Bush administration was nowhere near as hyper-secret as this presidency. They weren’t reading news anchors’ emails — luckily, news anchors are so blindingly one-sided they turned the cheek. Fast and Furious; Benghazi (our US Ambassador raped and murdered); Dr. Ben Carson hounded by the IRS for speaking against President Obama. That’s whose name should replace Dick Cheney — Barack Obama.

  • shocker147

    The Bush administration was nowhere near as hyper-secret as this presidency. They weren’t reading news anchors’ emails — luckily, news anchors are so blindingly one-sided they turned the cheek. Fast and Furious; Benghazi (our US Ambassador raped and murdered); Dr. Ben Carson hounded by the IRS for speaking against President Obama. That’s whose name should replace Dick Cheney — Barack Obama.

  • Larry

    Very interesting indeed. I was just getting ready to join the military and take the asvab. http://howtopasstheasvab.com

 

 

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