Monday, September 29, 2008

First they came for...

In 1971 Martin Niemöller said he was not sure exactly when he said these words--and over the years, it appears that he (and others) cited his words differently--but this is the version he preferred, if people wanted to cite his words;
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
I was pretty disturbed when Adkission barged into TVUUC in Knoxville and started shooting Unitarian Universalists--because "they" were liberal folk who were supporting liberal, egalitarian politicians. But this isn't about that.

It's about the fact that nothing is being done about the forces that appear to have driven Adkission in the direction of such an act.

I was horrified when Bill Gwatney was sought out and murdered in what appears to be a political assassination, because he was the chairman of the Democratic Party in Arkansas. (Wikipedia says "No motive was discovered, except Johnson quitting his Target job earlier that day." But Johnson went to the Democratic Party HQ, asked for Gwatney because (he said) he wanted to volunteer--and then murdered the chairman. It's mind bogglingly hard to draw a connection between losing one's job at Target....) But this isn't about that.

It's about the fact that nothing is being done about the forces that appear to have driven Johnson in the direction of such an act.

Now, I'm appalled. There was a terrorist attack in America--in Dayton--on a place of worship, affecting hundreds of people, adults and children--and it's barely been reported. (So much for America not having had any terrorist attacks since 9/11--that's two, at least, the anthrax letters and this one... and both of those appear to have been commited by home-grown terrorists...)

The good news is that no one was killed. But people were terrorized and harmed, and that's absolutely terrorism. Worship was disrupted; people were driven out of their service by tearing up, coughing and shortness of breath. Firefighters were washing peoples' faces and eyes at the scene, and some people were taken to a hospital.
... a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window...
Perhaps it was someting like pepper spray--or tear gas. Or it could have been any of a number of other noxious things. But what's disturbing is that it was done... and that the national media hasn't covered it, and that there's no public expression of concern.

You see, it was a mosque that was attacked...

... in a community where the hate "documentary" Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West had been distributed widely (inserted into the local paper or mailed, as it has throughout the country). It's been distributed by the Clarion Fund, and carries the endorsement of the chair of the counter-terrorism department of the U.S. Naval War College, citing his name and using the implicit authority of an official U.S. military institution to lend it credibility.

In each case there's an attack on people who are the object of the hate messages of the political right.

And there's nothing done about the root causes.

But maybe you're not a liberal, a Unitarian Universalist, a Democrat or a Muslim, so you can just shake your head and move along. But you should remember Niemöller's words, and as you move along, as yourself one question;

Will there be anyone there when they come for you?

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