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Sunday, 2 October 2016

#BlackLivesMatter + a poem by Pastor Niemoller

I struggle to express in writing my feelings on #BlackLivesMatter. Every time I see another fellow human made to leave this existence because they contain a higher amount of melanin in their skin and because history has taught the world that this is reason enough to justify murder, I feel like someone punched me in the chest. So I am not going to make this piece about the injustice occurring in the States against black people and especially black men.

This post will consist of a poem.
This is for all those who speak against #BlackLivesMatter, those who try to counter it with #AllLivesMatter (the two are NOT mutually exclusive), and for those who are indifferent. They are not all racist, they are not bad, they don't necessarily agree with the violence, and some of these people are black. But what they appear to have in common is that they separate themselves from the issue, and see it as something happening to 'the other. So for those people I just want to leave you with this poem by Pastor Niemoller, a German Lutheran pastor who fought in the First and Second World Wars and was imprisoned in concentration camps for his opposition to Hitler. 

I hope this provides food for thought.

First they came...
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out -
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

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