#946: First They Came…

June 27th, 2018

First they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out—

Because when they go low, we go high.

Then they came for the asylum-seekers, and I did not speak out—

Because we need to bring civility back to discourse.

Then they came for the naturalized citizens, and I didn’t do jack shit—

Because that would just inflame their base in swing states as we approach midterms.

Then they came for the Muslims and trans soldiers and gay rights and women’s reproductive rights, and I was all like—

“Robert DeNiro swearing at the Tonys gives @POTUS exactly what he wants!”

Then they put children in cages—

And I said a restaurant owner following her conscience won’t help the Dems win the Rust Belt.

Then they nuked public-sector unions through the right-wing justice they held the legislative process hostage to shove in—

And I said we need to be better than them.

Then they came for the right to fair election maps and environmental protection law, and I said nothing—

Because the moral arc of the universe is long, but points toward justice whilst I sit on ass.

They chucked ream after ream of inconvenient climate data and anticorruption reforms out the window, putting the foxes in charge of not only the henhouse, but the fox hunt, and I didn’t speak out—

Because the squeaky, sanitized images of MLK and Gandhi that we teach our schoolkids ignore what uncivil, unpolite rabble-rousers they were.

Then they came for the free press, for government watchdog programs, trade deals, our closest allies, industries that rely on foreign imports, and I did not speak—

Because 2020 is closer than we think, amirite?

Then they called Hispanics rapists, then they drove cars into protestors at Nazi rallies, then they poured funds and love into the private-sector prison complex that makes its way incarcerating black men, then they used the office of the President of the United States to attack individual businesses like Red Hen and Harley-Davidson for not toeing an ever-changing line, and I looked up puppy photos on Twitter—

Because midterms. And R.B.G. is, I guess, notorious or something.

Then they didn’t come for me.

They’ll never come for me.

They’ll never come for a white, native-born, straight man whose gender matches his body and who was raised under the sign of the cross. They’ll never come for me because I’m who they want to make this world for. I’m the beneficiary of their racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, white supremacy, Christian supremacy, English-language-speaking supremacy, cishet supremacy. My children will not be the ones locked in cages. My birth papers will never be the ones given an extra review. My countries of ethnic origin will never be on a no-fly list.

I will never be pulled over by a police officer and wonder if I’m going to die.

But I can speak. I can yell. I can rally and rail and pour my cash into groups that need it. I can volunteer and I can run for office and I do not have to be civil. Because needing to be in personal danger to recognize danger is as foolish and needless as valuing civility over conscience.

Then they asked me to be polite and defer as they burn the world—

And I said, “No.”

Donate to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois

And Planned Parenthood of Illinois

And the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

And The TRiiBE (I like them)

And register to vote, because midterms are coming

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You are currently reading #946: First They Came… by Paul Dailing at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons.

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