First they came for the Klan, and of course I fucking cheered, because No I wasn't in the Klan, those guys were assholes. I shed zero tears for them. Then they came for the run-of-the-mill blue-collar Republicans in flyover country, good ol' boys mainly, and you know, evangelicals and country-music fans and snake handlers, and I didn't say anything because it really wasn't so bad what they did to them, they just made them the punchline in a lot of T.V., and most of flyover country was laughing too as far as I could tell from the coast, and besides I can't relate to those people at all. Then they came for the old guard, the establishment, and I didn't say anything because not only was I not in the old guard but I was pretty fucking frustrated by their men's-club too, and besides some of them were also creeps, and although it was mostly just entertainers and stuff, not real power, it seemed like we might be actually aiming at real class dynamics at least indirectly. Then they came for the white liberal educated classes, and I admit I started to wonder, but I didn't say much because really, people had been trying act like just voting Democrat and driving a hybrid was enough to make you a good person, which was pathetic. Then they came for the beleaguered leftists, and I was definitely uncomfortable but I didn't say anything because I was trying not to be noticed and of course it was also true that no matter how many rallies I'd attended or how much money I'd donated or whether I'd stopped voting out of protest or only ate dumpster-dived food or whatever, the world was still going to Hell in a handbasket, and sure -- maybe they will make it better, they can't make it worse, right? Then they came for the allies who'd fucked up in some way and damn straight I didn't say shit, well OK aside from the nervous joke about the circular firing squad, which I hoped would dispel the tension, but I quickly shut up, because they were serious, and I was still catching my breath as a beleaguered leftist who had somehow been missed, but I admit I felt bad for some of them, and others I thought, Well what the hell did they expect? And then they came for the nuts-and-bolts of it all, this was "structural change" this time, yes the police, but also teachers, and nurses, and researchers, and political analysts, and poets, and pretty much anyone who might be in some way perpetuating structural injustice, or causing harm, "harm" defined as, as, as what??? and I didn't say anything because you know it was moving really fast actually and half the time you thought well they're right about this, even if that seems a bit extreme, but by the time you got finished thinking this, somebody had already been fired from their job or was at least forcibly attending some kind of anti-something training; and besides the push-back from the other side was such that you really didn't want to be taken for, you know, an ally that fucked up, or one of the old guard,or a good old boy from flyover country, or the goddam Klan..... And all this time I kept thinking, too, Who's going to be next? And where will this end? And then I realized -- shit! Will they come for the people who say nothing, because "silence is violence," or for the people asking, Where will this end? Either way I've already said not enough, or too much --
-- but the truth is, no one knows, They don't even know, because it's not even the same They who is coming. The ones who came for the Klan? It's not them anymore, it hasn't been them for years. They didn't exactly come for them, they just quietly waited them out, long ago. And it's hard to shake the question: how much of what's left is the sneaky remainders of the Klan, the good ol' boys, the old guard, the white liberal educated class, the fucking-up allies, the beleaguered leftists -- or what if all that's left now, or will be soon, is just the pattern of coming-for?