First, They Came For The Socialists...
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Politics and Activism

First, They Came For The Socialists...

Humanity is not a partisan issue.

First, They Came For The Socialists...
Jerry Kiesewetter

Earlier in the semester, I was sitting in the dining hall with some friends eating dinner. We were talking about the infamous Trump Travel Ban when I decided to share a story I had heard on campus.

There was a girl from one of the countries on the ban list who came back for sorority recruitment, which was a few days before classes started. Had she come back just for classes, the ban would’ve been in effect, and she wouldn’t have been able to return to school. Hearing of something so local and so close in my community left a huge impact on me.

I shared this story with the group, and what happened next left me speechless.

“But what does that have to do with you?” asked one of the girls.


That was my answer that day, and it is my answer now. Humanity is not a partisan issue. Humanity does not know red, blue, green or yellow. Humanity does not know liberalism, centrism or conservatism. If we have truly lost the ability to relate to our fellow human beings, what does that say about us?

Growing up, someone used to tell me that whatever cause I was working toward at the moment was not about me. I wish I had told them right then and there that these causes are for all people. Everyone is affected, be it directly or through other means. Everyone should fight for human rights, and I will never understand the attitude of disaffectedness I saw at the dining table that day.

When your family, friends, or professors tell you that [insert your fight here] is not your battle, keep fighting. Don’t hesitate to be an ally to a movement. Know what it means to be a good ally. Remember who and what you’re fighting for. Immigrant rights are human rights. LGBT+ rights are human rights. Women’s rights are human rights. Everyone has the responsibility to fight for human rights.

First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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