A WRITER'S WIT
Something to Think About on Presidents' Day
For more than five years I have blogged mostly about literary issues because I find the act pleasing—from time to time veering over to other subjects that interest me, travel and the like. Today's post is decidedly political, but it is straight from the heart. On this Presidents' Day I ask you to think about #45.
Then 45 and his followers come for the Muslims because they are easy prey, and we do not speak out because many of us are not Muslim.
Then 45 and his followers come for the Mexicans because they have little power and must hide, and we do not speak out because many of us are not Mexican.
Then 45 and his followers come for black people because these descendants of slaves are ready for the fight; will we not join that fight because we are not African-American?
Then 45 and his followers come for the LGBTQs by way of the rest room issue—and do we not speak out because a large majority of us are not Lesbian or Gay or Bisexual or Transgendered or Queer?
Finally, will we believe 45 and his followers when they say they are in support of Israel, or are the Jews safe because surely no one would come after them again?
My thoughts are adapted from the words of Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a Protestant minister who openly criticized Hitler and spent many years in concentration camps for speaking out. Consider his writing:
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.
We must speak out in a variety of ways, even if we’re afraid, even if we’re persecuted for doing so.
All who are NOT in support of 45 (56% disapproval rate) have an opportunity, perhaps an obligation, to help.
What We Can Do:
Select one group or one cause and support it with small monthly donations—I’m talking $5 to $25 a month. Look at what such a practice did for the Bernie Sanders campaign; there is great power in the many consolidating resources.
Or short on money? Let's give of our talents (verbal, physical, philosophical, musical, artistic).
A social person? Let's go to the local office of our favorite political party and donate our time working for a cause we believe in. Demonstrate. Act up. Occupy.
Most of all, old or young, let's speak out! Today, with social media outlets, we have the same opportunity as Mr. 45 to put out a message and engage in dialogue.
Now that I’ve dismounted my high horse, I shall return to my study and write, but forget me, and just do something.
NEXT TIME: NEW YORKER FICTION 2017