“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”. – – Desmond Tutu
First they came for Black men, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not Black.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Muslim.
“First they came …” is a famous statement and provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum quotes the following text as one of the many poetic versions of the speech:
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.
White Lives Matter Too!
A White man died from injuries suffered while in St. Louis City jail. The homeless man was arrested for trespassing. The man’s mother believes police beat her son and told a reporter that she and family members were shocked when they saw Gilbert’s body at the morgue. “He’s black and blue and swollen all over,” she told a reporter Wednesday. “It just blew our mind when they pulled the curtain back. I wanted them to pull the sheet further down because we wanted to see his full body. They killed our kid. My husband went nuts. We knew immediately that this was no head injury or wrestling around — no, they beat him.”
During an event that took place earlier this year in Washington, MO, a White man was tasered while handcuffed, but in his case the incident was captured on video. The police officer has since been fired and Washington, MO paid an undisclosed amount in settlement of a lawsuit.
People and organizations such as Black Lives Matter are not imagining police brutality, it does happen. It’s just a matter of time before the injustices people remain silent about, visits them. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”