Speaking out against the hatred

I was privileged to meet Marvin Ekfeldt on Christmas Eve while visiting my mother. His “Let’s end hatred, mistreatment of others” in “My Turn” (Kent Reporter, Dec. 23) was spot on.

It’s disheartening to hear that hurtful expressions of bigotry continue today as if from our dark past.

Too frequently those spouting this kind of thing in the name of “patriotism” misunderstand the American ideal and our Constitution. We should all look for opportunities to gently speak up directly when we hear this kind of thing.

Our silence may grant these expressions of hate tacit approval.

These days, especially, it is helpful to remember the words of Martin Niemöller:

“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.”

– Dan Arnold

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