To the editor:
As I read Sunday’s front page article and almost two additional pages about “An Unthinkable Crime” dealing with the abuse of a 6-year-old boy, I thought about the 1945 quote from Martin Niemoeller: “When they, the Nazis, came for the communists, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. When they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the trade unionist, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. When they came for the Catholics, I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for anybody.”
On the Fourth of July, we celebrate all the great freedoms we have in this country. Let us remember the small children in our midst. Who speaks for them? Many times, it is the dedicated workers at the local SRS office. Sometimes a child may slip through the cracks of an overworked staff who must get the monthly paperwork completed at the expense of investigative and follow-up time. But still, it is better to have a service that to have no service at all.
Gov. Brownback, by closing the local SRS office, is denying children, the old, the mentally ill and even the able-bodied unemployed the freedom of having local access to an advocacy service.
We all need to speak up for the continued operation of the local SRS office here in Lawrence. If not, who’s next?