Attorney General Jeff Sessions escaped his elfin tree this past week to spew a stream of offensive, racist comments aimed at our border communities. While the lazy mainstream media covered every marble-mouthed utterance of the Disgrace of Alabama, I chose to go down to the border in my hometown of San Diego and see what Americans thought of all this race baiting. Oddly enough, they didn’t agree with El Elfo.
For those of you who have never been to San Diego, or any other border town for that matter, you should know that we consider the border and our neighbors to the south to be a part of our community. We’ve lived with each other for centuries. We party, pray and mourn together. We have family and friends on both sides. What happens south of the border, directly affects the north side and vise versa. So when Sessions had the nerve to visit border communities and call them “war zones” and filled with “violent gangs, drug dealers and murders,” members of those communities decided to fight back.
Alliance San Diego not only fights for immigrant rights but for civil rights for all people, education equity and inclusive democracy. They hosted a rally supporting the border community of San Diego right outside of the port of entry at the exact same time as Sessions was hiding inside. Although they were invited, neither Sessions nor the national media bothered to come and speak to actual citizens of the border. They were only concerned with the opinion of those enforcing Trump’s immigration policies.
In attendance at the rally were leaders and members from Alliance SD, San Diego Human Rights Consortium, Asia-Pacific American Labor Alliance, local Muslim and Christian faith leaders and everyday citizens. Reverend Beth Johnson of the Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship warmed up the crowd with some choice words for Sessions and the Trump administration:
“AG Sessions, General Kelly and Trump do not represent what is true for our border. This is a moral issue! It is wrong to denounce and dehumanize our community and to deny their inherit worth and dignity. It is wrong to militarize our border! It is wrong to tear families apart! It is wrong to build a wall! It is wrong to separate our communities!”
Christain Ramirez of Alliance SD brought the crowd home with a rousing personal speech:
“San Diego is a safe city. Days of hyperbolic rhetoric have come to an end.
Sessions’ words are an affront to our dignity and goes against basic ideas of democracy.”
“Let us be clear who is pushing the rhetoric of war in a time of peace!”
“The day will come when the people of the United States stand up!”
“We want to be able to walk to places of worship without worrying about being racially profiled. We want to be able to send our kids to school without worrying about whether they will make it home or not because they were picked up by Border Patrol and deported.”
“This is no longer a movement for immigrant rights, for Latino communities, for the Muslim community or for women and LGBTQ communities! It is now a movement to defend the basic values of democracy!”
Ramirez further stated that he recalled growing up in the San Ysidro area and being arrested by the Border Patrol as he tried to walk to school. He was routinely handcuffed and placed in the back of their vehicles even though he was a United States citizen. He was only 13 or 14 years old and remembered watching his parents and neighbors being arrested by Border Patrol even though they were also citizens.
“I don’t want my son to go through the indignity of being handcuffed simply because of the color of his skin!”
According to Ramirez, Alliance SD has invited Jeff Sessions and Trump numerous times to talks regarding the border communities, but they have never returned their requests. Much like the Trump administration’s ignorance of the border, those Americans who do not reside here are equally as oblivious. But at least many of those Americans can be forgiven their ignorance since their only source of information, the media, refuses to cover the actual people living on the border or admit that in fact American border cities are some of the safest cities in the country.
The Trump administration is simply race baiting and inventing a boogie man out of the border and immigrants to keep its followers in fear. The media is assisting Trump by giving them a platform to showcase their bigotry while ignoring the facts and the voices of our border communities.
Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2017 Crooks and Liars.