When I was a junior in high school in the mid-60s, I had a wonderful American History teacher. He was Native American and a former Army Intelligence officer and we called him the Chief to his amusement. He was good at making us think about the world we lived in and worked hard to make us understand that there was a cold, cruel world beyond our suburb in which we had to learn to live. In addition to history, both American and Native American, we argued current events and social issues which often turned into screaming matches. In those sessions I learned where I stood on a lot of issues and I learned to speak my mind about them.
Today, while I was absorbing all the information I've been exposed to this week, I remembered a handout the Chief gave us and I want to share it with y'all. Most of you have probably seen it before but I think with the possible threat to our liberty, perhaps a reminder is merited.
First they came 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 Jew.
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 there was no one left to speak up for me.
by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
It's time for everyone to speak up for all of us.