“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”
Sermons in Erlangen, Marburg, Göttingen and Frankfurt (January 1946), as quoted in Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984
We must not allow our prejudice, religious beliefs and societal ‘norms’ to cloud our perspective on right and wrong.
Let us remember that at the core of the Divine message is love. To love God with all our heart. And to love our neighbour as ourselves.
We must be careful of those who use their positions of power and authority to circumvent the fundamental rights to expression and being.
All around us, systems are failing, violence erupting, pockets of genocide being witnessed, new laws of discrimination being passed and enforced etc. The last time humanity found itself at such a point, we ended up calling it World War II.
At every point in out history when great or terrible things have happened, humanity faced a choice; the proverbial fork in the road. And when we look back on most of the conflict, it becomes clear that what was seen as the trigger initially was simply an excuse.
Whether by our consent or reticence we have the power to allow the perpetuation of wrongs against humanity to prevail or otherwise. It is not a valid excuse to claim non- alliance as we become the silent witnesses to present and future crimes.
Every government is answerable to its people and the people must not allow themselves to be emasculated into ‘victimhood’ in what can only be seen as the systematic dis-empowerment of people all around the world.
We owe it to previous generations who died in the fight for peace, to future generations who must never re-live the horrors of our past and to ourselves be the conscience of our chosen (or otherwise) leaders and to ensure they/we protect the sanctity of human dignity in every form regardless of race, creed, sex, orientation and every other variation of our human existence.
Written by : Zanetor A. Rawlings.