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Speaking Up

January 19, 2011

It says:

In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a communist. 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. By the time they came for me, there was no one left to SPEAK UP.

This photo was taken at an LGBTQIA chalk event where college students wrote their LGBTQIA/Equality-related messages on Syracuse University’s quad. That message was especially powerful because it showed that the “normal” people will continue to attack those who are different until there is no one left. It is not just homophobia we are fighting. It is inequality and oppression. If we speak out against inequality, only then can we move forward.

Is your school speaking out? Find your school’s LGBT or Diversity Organization and discuss ways to spread equality. Don’t have an LGBT or Diversity Organization? Discuss with your faculty and staff members at your school and create one.

So it turns out that the message written in the photo, isn’t exactly an college-student original, but the concept of the message is still valid. The original form of the statement was written by Pastor Martin Niemöller in protest to the lack of response of the Germans to the rise of the Nazis. Here is Wikipedia’s take on “First They Came…

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