Something that irks me — “acceptable targets”

     Most people have heard of the famous writing by Martin Niemoller that begins “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.”  But you may have heard it differently — especially if (like me) you live in the US.  Sources in the US (especially the right-wing ones) tend to leave out the part about communists and start with socialists.

     Many people consider communists an “acceptable target.”  Niemoller himself did at one time.  He was an anti-communist and so didn’t think much of it when their rights were violated.  He learned a hard lesson.  Today, in the US we see the same beginnings.  They are coming for the communists.  But maybe you don’t speak out because — you’re not a communist.  And people don’t like that reminder.  So they skip that part.

     There must never be any “acceptable targets.”  I don’t care what you think about communism or any other political philosophy.  When we accept the violation of human rights for anyone we invite such violation on ourselves.  Perhaps I can’t do much.  But this is me — speaking out.


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