Have you ever heard the phrase, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”? It’s often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, but he actually never said that. Someone should tell Donald Trump.
On Monday, Donald Trump sent out a tweet and an Instagram photo with himself on stage and the fake Gandhi quote imposed underneath. Many people were outraged—indignant that Trump would invoke the words of such an iconic figure. But people should probably be a little more angry that this quote keeps getting passed around as Gandhi’s.
So who actually said “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”? Some have traced early versions of this quote to an American labor organizer named Nicholas Klein. He was making a speech at a convention in 1918:
First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.
I realize that fact-checking Donald Trump is a pretty futile effort. But let’s at least fact check the people he’s quoting. Because as Donald Trump once said, “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” Or was that Mussolini?
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