This Is Us

We try to stick to the healthcare lane here at The Patient Advocate’s Chronicle, but it’s become abundantly clear in the last week or so that this election has become much bigger than one policy issue, or even entire policy platforms. Not that we were perfect before, but in the last, say, three years, we have become a place where it is ok to solve perceived problems with violence against anyone perceived as “other”: other than white, other than male, other than the “right” religion, other than from here.

In the space of six days last week, we had over a dozen bombs sent through the mail to political opponents of the party in power, after which the administration blamed the targets; two black grocery store shoppers were killed after a bigot tried and failed to shoot up a black church; and eleven people praying in a synagogue were killed by a man who buys into ages-old anti-Semitic rhetoric on some shadowy conspiracy about Jews helping refugees.

Without leadership’s direct condemnation, let alone treating these events with a lack of gravity each incident deserves, the climate will get worse and worse and worse, until we break.

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So, today’s post is an article I first heard in a public high school in one of the most conservative states in the country, from a Lutheran teacher with Swedish roots who used an entire quarter of his semester to teach the Holocaust.

First They Came . . .

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.

-- Martin Niemöller, Lutheran (Protestant) pastor, addressing persecution and accountability, Germany 1946.


November 6, 2018