What fresh hell is this that we have entered into as a nation? No one can be neutral now. No wait and see. No thinking that we are insulated from the atrocities our government is committing.
Is this the legacy we want to leave the world? No longer a ‘shining city on a hill’ we have become our worst nightmare. Do not be lulled into complacency. Only pray that there remains some chance that we will be able to retrieve what we have lost.
Add my name to the thousands and millions who believed we, as a nation, were immune to authoritarianism and fascism or that our institutions could be infected and destroyed from within. We are not immune. And we have entered a fresh hell like none we have encountered before. I am reminded of this famous statement:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
-the Rev. Marin Niemöller, referring to the rise of Nazism in Germany. Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
These children, mothers, families detained by ICE are our Socialists. Our queers. Our trade unionists, our Jews. If we were to rewrite this for our time it would begin: First they came for the immigrants…
But please, please, do not let what follows be “but I didn’t not speak out because I am not an immigrant”.
Add your voice to the thousands who speak for these children and their parents. Who speak for people of color throughout this nation. Who speak up and out for women. Who demand that our rule of law remain in tack. Who refuse to bend to the dissolution of all we hold dear.
It is as bad as we think it is and most likely, even worse than we can imagine.