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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

First they came for the Muslims, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a  Muslim.
Then they came for the immigrants, detaining them indefinitely solely on the certification of the attorney general, and I didn’t speak up because I  wasn’t an immigrant.
Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a suspect.
Then they came to prosecute noncitizens before secret military commissions, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a noncitizen.
Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced “sneak and peak”  searches, and I didn’t speak up because I had nothing to hide.
Then they came to reinstate the infiltration and  surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn’t speak up because I no longer participated in any groups.
Then they came to arrest citizens and hold them indefinitely  without any charges and without access to lawyers, and I didn’t speak up because I would never be arrested.
Then they came to recruit citizens to spy on other citizens and I didn’t speak up because I was afraid.
Then they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it only aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to the enemies, and I didn’t  speak up … because I didn’t speak up.
Then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up.

Stephen Rohde



Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

– V –