Sunday, April 02, 2017

How History Works

“Thank you for the forum that you have here tonight. When I was a little boy in Poland, for no other reason but for being Jewish, I was hauled off by the Nazis. And for no other reason, I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz. And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau. I spent five and a half years in concentration camps for one reason and one reason only — because we picked on people — and you as the sheriff, who we elected as sheriff of this county — we did not elect you for sheriff of Washington, D.C. It’s about time you side with the people here. And when this gentleman stands up there and says he doesn’t go after people, he should read today’s [Sacramento] Bee. Because in today’s Bee, the Supreme Court Justice of California objected to ICE coming in and taking people away from the courts. Don’t tell me that this is a lie. You stand up here, Mr. Jones. Don’t forget — history is not on your side.”
These were the words of Bernard Marks at a town hall meeting in Sacramento last Tuesday night. He was addressing Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement  Thomas Homan and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. He was not happy. Nor were many of the attendees of this meeting. For his part, Mister Homan replied, “We don’t arrest people on schools ground, in churches, in hospitals,” said the ICE director. “We will arrest people in courthouses. If there’s a public safety threat in a courthouse, we’ll continue to arrest in a courthouse. However, we don’t go to courthouses looking for victims; we don’t go to courthouses looking for witnesses. As I said at the beginning, we’ve got specific targets, specific location, so it’s a targeted enforcement operation. So when we go to a courthouse — this is the truth — we’re looking for someone that’s been convicted of a crime and has a criminal history, and the courthouse is the last place we go. We’d much rather go to a jail to get him-” before he was cut off by the unruly crowd. That unruly crowd eventually took over the meeting, giving us all a window into the way history works. A people united shall not be defeated. 
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 

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