And then Trump came for me…

As a white man, I enjoy the unearned privileges that our society bestows upon me by virtue of birth alone. However, with great privilege comes great responsibility. When the forces of fascism are brought out to oppress our fellow citizens—be they Black, Latino, women, the disabled, or LGBTQ—then we who enjoy such privilege are duty bound to speak out and come to the defense of our fellow citizens in their hour of need. To fail to do so will only lead to further repression that we will find ourselves caught up in. Fascism is never satisfied, and has an insatiable appetite for the liberties of men and women everywhere. It is a secret combination that seeks to destroy the liberty of all. – People’s World cartoonist Greg Kearney

Inspired by the current uprising against systemic racism and repulsed at the Trump administration’s exercise of naked brute force in the streets of U.S. cities, People’s World cartoonist Greg Kearney offers the cartoon, recalling the confessional prose of German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem, “First they came.” Niemöller lamented the failure of German intellectuals, clergy, and others—including himself—to speak up and challenge the terrors of Nazi rule as one group after another was targeted for elimination by Hitler’s fascist state. To accompany Kierney’s cartoon, here is Niemöller’s confession:

First they came

Martin Niemöller

 First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

 Then 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 by the time they came

There was no one left
To speak out for me

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Greg Kearney
Greg Kearney

Greg Kearney has worked as an editorial cartoonist for over 40 years. He calls himself  “a traditional labor Democrat,” and his cartoons have appeared in publications as diverse as the Journal of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union to People's World. “You may not always agree with my views but that is the whole point of editorial cartooning.” Kearney is a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.