An important article in the Guardian today:
Wristbands and red doors for refugees: history is not repeating itself, but it is rhyming by Giles Fraser
“In the week we remember the Holocaust, it would be a disservice to the millions who died if we didn’t recognise that the treatment of Muslim migrants is an echo of the past.”
This is an excellent article that brings together many of the things I have been thinking and saying for a while. I like the idea of differentiating between history repeating and history rhyming. If we do not wake up soon we will all find ourselves in the midst of an utter nightmare.
Perhaps it is appropriate to remember this famous rhyme from history:
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.
“First they came …” is a famous statement and provocative poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis‘ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Thatcher drove the socialists out of town (and out of the Labour Party). The Tories continue to emasculate the Trade Unions. Cameron, Osborne, IDS etc are now set on kicking the poor and the desperate wave of refugees that their neoliberal meddling in far off lands have created.
And me? Will you speak for me? I know a few that might, but most of the people I know (my neighbours, work acquaintances etc) have stood up for none of the others, so I won’t hold my breath.