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” (Martin Niemöller).
Martin Niemöller was a German pastor during the Nazi regime. According to what I read, he spent the last seven years of their reign in concentration camps.
I found this quote when I was scrolling through the saved websites on my phone. It did almost feel like a punch to the face. It reminded me that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and silence in the face of injustice amounts to consent and approval of it.
I’m left asking the question: Who do I need to speak out for?
A better question is this: Who do I know that doesn’t have a voice that I’m not speaking out for?
Who will speak out for me if I don’t speak out for them?