Defending our Democracy ...

During the years I have enjoyed the privilege and felt the responsibility of teaching college students a course on the Holocaust, one of the learning outcomes that shaped the content of the course was to help students understand this truth: democratic institutions are not indestructible; they must be protected, nurtured, guarded. This reality was among many learning objectives stressed by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to those of us community college instructors participating in a summer fellowship there. Another guiding Holocaust principle we learned was this dire warning from German theologian, Pastor Martin Niemöller. It begins this way:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.”

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