Allies

Immaterial Grrl

jfk-civilrights-flyer

(from http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/scriptorium/americavotes/jfk-civilrights-flyer.jpeg)

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

I’m reminded of Martin Niemöller’s famous poem today not only because it’s Remembrance Day, but because I’ve been researching effective ways to confront oppression. Researchers have found that the motive for the oppression doesn’t determine how easily it’s stopped. Effective confrontations usually involved allies who didn’t belong to the oppressed group, so as I suspected, all oppression (or abuse) is about power.

I’m not as surprised at the obviousness of the results as I am at how long…

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