First they searched the Arabs…

Posted on 08 February 2011

 Dan Roentsch shared this video from today, about asserting your rights to refuse consent for a police search.

I find myself incredibly (using that word in it’s true meaning) frustrated with the excessively large portion of my countrymen who believe that broad search powers are warranted "if you’ve got nothing to hide".  As mentioned in the video, if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’re not helping the police by allowing them to search you or your property.  I wish that more folks could remember what Pastor Martin Neimöller had to say on a similar topic.

With the humility of one who recognizes when he stands on the shoulders of giants, I will borrow his words and form to illustrate what I perceive to be the danger of mindless consent.


First they searched the Arabs,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t an Arab.

Then they searched everyone for bombs,
and I didn’t refuse consent because I wasn’t a terrorist.

Then they searched everyone’s data for religion,
and I didn’t refuse consent because it wasn’t a crime to be atheist.

Then they searched everyone’s data for financial irregularities,
and I didn’t refuse consent because I can still use cash to pay for my vices.

Then they changed the law
and their searches were evidence before I could refuse consent.


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