First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

--Pastor Niemöller

I read this some place, but it ended:

Then they came for me
and I said "wait, you forgot the gays,
and I know where they are!"
An oft' quoted poem, but I have to wonder how many people really think about what this poem is saying.

I've seen people spout parts of this poem with complete sincerity and then express homophobic, sexist or racist comments. Seems as if many of us don't believe the truth of this statement ...

Can people really believe that the hatred and contempt for the rights of women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals or bisexuals, "non-traditional" people who don't adhere to their own gender, or any other oppressed group is something that can be so completely remote to them? After all, the choices of oppressed groups seem to be fairly systematic. However, that system is only annihilation.

You may be in America, be straight, white, heterosexual, traditonally gendered, and Christian, but don't imagine that the hatred shown to the "different" now is so outside of something that you may experience. After all, the system might be getting pretty close to claiming you, too.

First they came for the fourth amendment,
and I did not speak out, because I didn't deal drugs.
Then they came for the fifth amendment,
and I was silent because I owned no property involved in crimes.
Then they came for the sixth amendment,
and I did not protest because I was innocent.
Then they came for the second amendment,
and I said nothing because I didn't own a gun.
And then they came for the first amendment,
and I could say nothing at all.

--author unknown

A sorely needed warning in these days when the average person thinks the CDA and DMCA are good laws. This poem is based on Pastor Martin Neimoeller's famous "First They Came for the Jews", adapting that warning to freedom of speech on the Internet.

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