Tyranny re­spects no one

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

In the best Amer­i­can tra­di­tion, cit­i­zens are ris­ing up against the in­jus­tice of Don­ald Trump. Mil­lions marched peace­fully in com­mu­ni­ties across the land. Thou­sands as­sem­bled at air­ports to protest un­jus­ti­fied ac­tions against refugees and vis­i­tors from sev­eral Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­tries. Di­verse or­ga­ni­za­tions and net­works are speak­ing out about how their con­stituen­cies and in­ter­ests are threat­ened by the ex­trem­ism of a pres­i­dent most vot­ers voted against.

On Jan. 24, Gov. Jerry Brown of Cal­i­for­nia de­liv­ered his an­nual State of the State Ad­dress. He cel­e­brated how 27 per­cent of Cal­i­for­nia res­i­dents were born in a for­eign land and many gen­er­a­tions of im­mi­grants have con­trib­uted to that di­verse and dy­namic so­ci­ety, which is now the sixth largest econ­omy in the world.

He made clear what Cal­i­for­nia will do in re­sponse to op­pres­sive ac­tion by the fed­eral govern­ment: “We will de­fend ev­ery­body — ev­ery man, woman and child — who has come here for a bet­ter life and has con­trib­uted to the well-be­ing of our state.”

Jerry Brown be­lieves in our coun­try’s great in­vi­ta­tion, the in­scrip­tion on the Statue of Lib­erty: Give me your tired, your poor, your hud­dled masses yearn­ing to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teem­ing shore. Send these, the home­less, tem­pest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp be­side the golden door!

Don­ald Trump be­haves con­sis­tently as a bully, scape­goat­ing who­ever ap­pears to lack power. But most Amer­i­cans (in­clud­ing Trump him­self) are ei­ther im­mi­grants or de­scen­dants of im­mi­grants. The Amer­i­can peo­ple be­lieve in what the Lady of New York Har­bor de­clares and stand in sup­port of her mes­sage for Amer­i­cans yet to come.

Trump vot­ers: Do not as­sume you are safe from the ex­cesses of the cur­rent pres­i­dency. Once let loose, tyranny re­spects no one. Con­sider this state­ment by the Ger­man pas­tor Martin Niemoller (1892-1984), quoted by the Na­tional Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Mu­seum:

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. We must all do our part so that this does not hap­pen among us.

The Rev. Charles Hof­facker, Brandy­wine The writer is the rec­tor of St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Par­ish, Baden.

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