Letter: Resist prejudice and discrimination

Recent initiatives by our federal and state governments bring to mind Martin Niemoller.

During World War I he was a German submarine captain. Following the armistice he was ordained as a minister and became troubled by the rise of persecution in his country. Arrested for his outspoken beliefs he was imprisoned from 1938 until 1945 in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps.

Following World War II he penned these words referring to the rise of intolerance:

“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”.

With American governments now attacking religious and national groups, the media, judges and unions we applaud those who speak out. We encourage everyone who loves freedom to resist today’s rampant prejudice and discrimination.

Richard and Marion Patterson

Cedar Rapids

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