Free Speech: Why Speak Up?

Free Speech

Why is Free Speech so important? Why speak up about things that don’t seem to affect you? Perhaps Pastor Martin Neimoller’s view, in my revised version of his quote, speaks to that question. He supported the Nazis until he realized, too late, what they were really about and was sent to Dachau concentration camp. He was one of the fortunate to be freed and lived until 1984.

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Social Democrats,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Social Democrat.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Gays,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t Gay.

Then they came for me,
but by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

This version is adapted from original information researched by University of California/Santa Barbara Professor Harold Marcuse.

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