(– St. Francis of Assisi)
The converse of St. Francis’ statement, unfortunately, is also true.
Our president has asked us to be fearful.
Unlike John F. Kennedy’s inspirational call to action – “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” – for the public to rise up for justice and the greater good, our current president has asked Americans to become to be the smallest and least version of ourselves.
Today’s post is not action call, nor is it a sermon. It’s a reminder of why we fight everyday.
He asked us to be fearful of Muslims.
Despite the proof that our biggest danger is home grown right-wing terrorists and unceasing gun violence, he continues to try to deny Muslims entry, playing to the xenophobia of his bedrock supporters and endangering Muslim-Americans.
He asked us to be fearful of MS-13.
Wild and unsubstantiated claims that MS-13 gang members are lurking in every corner, have allowed him to create a “zero-tolerance” policy that pulls peaceful and productive people, our neighbors who’ve lived here for decades, away from their homes, jobs and families. This manufactured “fear” has metastasized to traumatizing children with breathtaking barbarity and to denying asylum to people, especially women and children, who come here in fear for their lives.
(The US has 1.4 million gang members of all kinds. Only 10,000 of them are MS-13. Here is a visual of what that comparison looks like to scale.)
He uses our fear to separate us from each other.
(Oddly enough, some modern viewers of this classic film on “divide-and-conquer” believe that we are now “too smart” to be fooled. Obviously, we’re not.)
He uses our fear to distract us.
We here in Ventura County has not escaped.
Not only do we have acolytes of fear trying to overturn SB-54, one city at a time, but we’ve also lost something wonderful and kind amongst the unrelenting waves of racism and xenophobia.
If there is a Sunday sermon amongst all this, it is that, for the cost of some misfiled paperwork, everything can be lost in a land without mercy, charity or wisdom.
If there is an action here, it is that Indivisible Ventura urges all who read this newsletter below to join and support CLUE in their work. Check out the bottom of the last page on how to help. Check out our “Help the kids” column. Make these calls. Donations can be made to CLUE to help this couple specifically, as well as for CLUE’s continuing work here.