Why Should White People Care What Happens to Black or Brown People?

I Remained Silent Because I’m Not Black

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 charged the partner of an investigative journalist with terrorism for transporting whistleblowing documents to the journalist regarding illegal NSA spying
I remained silent;
My wife isn’t a journalist

Then they targeted prominent, peaceful American Muslim lawyers for total  surveillance by the NSA and FBI
I remained silent;
I’m not a Muslim

Then they used military weapons used in the Iraq war on peaceful African-American protestors
I remained silent
I’m not black

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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  • BuelahMan

    It may behoove you to study Martin Niemöller’s poem more closely:

    Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.

    Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

    Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

    Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude.

    Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

    “When the Nazis arrested the Communists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.

    When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.

    When they arrested the trade unionists, I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist.

    When they arrested the Jews, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew.”

    But Martin Niemöller used many versions of this, depending upon the audience he was speaking to.

    One must understand the Jewish onslaught of Germany, especially after WWI, and the culprits that ran the entities he listed first were all Jews. One has to understand that Germans as a whole did not want Jews running things there, espcially jews being allowed to be pastors in German Christian churches (which was Niemöller’s biggest complaint)

    Perhaps Washington’s Blog considers Communism a good thing? Or that the Social Democrats overthrew the German government in 1918 a good thing? Or that the trade unions were allowed to shut down all production during WWI, causing Germany to lose without losing a single battle or allowing any force to invade Germany.

    One can try to use the poem (in its many versions dependent upon the goal it is used for), but you MUST understand the REAL history (not the BS the Jewish owned media and government peppers us with for decades). You can learn a great bit here:

    http://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/rev-martin-niemoller-first-they-came-for-the-communists/