There is an event upcoming this month that is important to African Americans and should be important to the nation. It is the pending decision by the Grand Jury in the case of 28-year old Darren Wilson, a white police officer, who shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18 year old black American on Saturday afternoon, August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. There is an event upcoming before 2014 ends that is important to Latinas/Latinos, and especially to “The Dreamers” and is one that should be important to the nation. It is President Obama’s decision on comprehensive immigration reform.
We know that tensions exist between and among African Americans and immigrants of color. We know too, that it is difficult to talk about and work on those tensions. What we tend to do, all too often is simply allude to those tensions then let them be. The test is, whether solidarity between African Americans and immigrants of color remains strong when the decisions mentioned above are made. Or, will each cultural group go its separate way seeing no similarities in the struggles for social justice, resulting in little or no solidarity? Having ongoing discussions about each pending event with as many groups as possible will enhance understanding of issues that these groups have in common.
This blog post is to urge us to start and continue discussions on the similarities and differences that characterize both the Ferguson, MO and the comprehensive immigration reform outcomes. Let’s begin with ongoing social media dialogue. When you engage, help us by naming a group that you will ask to join the dialogue. We need as much diversity as we can get. This test of solidarity will also help us discern specific ways to support each other’s causes in this difficult period of time. As we anticipate the yet unknown outcomes of pending decisions let’s strive for non-violence, peace, order, and level headedness. There are always next steps that we can work on, together, no matter the outcomes.
If there is agreement about the value of using social media as well as dialogues open to the public, I propose that through our NIAAS Co-Coordinators, Trina Jackson and Luz Zambrano we ask Joel Mackall to help us set-up the ongoing social media dialogue format to be used between and among individuals and diverse groups. I also propose that through our Co-Coordinators, we request public relations/media assistance from Kevin Ferreira and assistance from our Core Group Members, Antonietta Gimeno, Ferai Williams, and Trina Jackson, who are experienced with “Theatre of the Oppressed,” regarding the set-up of dialogue format that will be open to the public.
These pending events are already national news. Missouri’s Governor Jay Nixon appeared on MSNBC television discussing possible outcomes of the Michael Brown killing. He went so far as to say, “The world is watching.” President Barack Obama sent U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder to Ferguson, MO. As a result, the U.S.
Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting its own assessment of the Ferguson Police Department’s internal investigations of use of force during the last four years. President Obama told the nation that he will act on comprehensive immigration reform after the mid-term elections. That time has come. These two issues, now before the nation, deserve our attention in solidarity. How will the “Solidarity Test” turn out? Blog posts from you will invigorate results. Let us hear from you. Can we do this together? Si se puede! Yes we can!