Saturday, July 27, 2019

Lights for Liberty

Lights for Liberty held a vigil at Lake Eola Park to protest the inhumane incarceration of immigrants at the border. The rain died down as the chants and protests subsided around the little red gazebo. One candle lit two, which ignited four which then ignited exponentially more candles. People struggled to keep the light ablaze by protecting the flame with their hands. The storm still persisted. Protesters marched around the lake once and then concluded with a vigil and moment of silence.

As court cases tighten the noose around the POTUS, he is lashing out at others on the hill with racist rants.  The deplorable conditions in the southern detention centers are further evidence of a platform of dehumanizing rhetoric. A family seeking asylum begged for their daughters sake since she had a congenital heart disease. A detention center doctor found that she did indeed have a heart condition. This toddler was told she must choose between her parents since one would be sent back across the border. She chose her mother but once her father was being escorted away she broke down and cried. How could a child be asked to choose between their parents? The doctor insisted the family be kept together for the child's sake and he stayed with them overnight off the clock. The next day he found a different detention officer who agreed to keep the family together. Their future remains uncertain.

In Charlottesville, Neo Nazis chanted "Jews shall not replace us!" as they marched at night with tiki torches. A Unite the Right Rally white supremacist drove his car into peace loving counter protesters killing one woman, Heather Heyer, on that day in 2017. He was just sentenced life in prison plus over 400 years. The POTUS claimed there were "Very good people on both sides." This is why Neo Nazis and his base love him so much. History always repeats itself. During the start of WWII the United States also closed it's borders to Jews seeking asylum from Nazi Germany. Then as now, the US turned a blind eye. Southern detention centers are as dehumanizing as the American citizen Japanese interment camps of WWII. Orlando seems like a bubble of compassion in a country where the rhetoric of hate is always what makes the news. Brave people still stand as a light in the dark against hate. They give hate no safe harbor. Lets hope the storm will pass. 

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
— Heather Heyer, her last post published on Facebook.

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