THINGS LEARNED FROM THE IMMIGRATION PROTEST

Immigration Protest

Yesterday, I got on Facebook and I saw smatterings of talk of an immigration protest…

But, it wasn’t until I got ready to run to the store that I realized how real it was.

And to be completely honest, I felt like I was a kid again, being punished along with my bad-as-hell, orange-skinned brother, that just got my last nerves.

That very likely may be the understatement of the year, but I digress…

While I understand the need for the protest and, my personal missing dinner items aside, I was very impressed with how things played out.

But, I must admit that it brought to the fore some major differences between how they exercised their rights (or lack thereof) when set alongside the manner in which African Americans have collectively done things.

And this comparison is warranted, in my opinion, because, regardless if we feel that they have the right to protest, they did and we felt it.

Considering things realistically, the laws being enforced are valid. Nobody is kidnapping people and throwing legal American citizens out of the country. Unfortunately, due to past agreements and allowances, the rash decision to deport droves of illegals has destroyed families, leaving debris in its wake not unlike any natural disaster.

And it’s making them feel very disrespected.

Have you seen the way that they are treated? How they are talked down to, called stupid, weird, treated, overworked? And do you see how they are Johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to working a thousand billion hours with NO breaks, all with a stupid grin plastered on their faces?

Meanwhile, Tyrone don’t want to carry a ten pound box two feet, something that HE said that he could do when he got the job, but now, all of a sudden he has an old back injury from high school football that makes him “not it” when works gets passed around.

These people deserve so much credit because they come over here hungrier than the people born into the Land of Opportunity. All the while they’re being disrespected, laughed at, and mistreated, they are still making sure that we have hot, delicious food (because they are in the kitchen of every restaurant), clean our homes and work places with such precision and thoroughness, and basically any and everything else.

And they do it, not to be King of Land, sitting up eating delectables like a fat rat, forcing all commoners to kiss their pinky rings. They do it to take care of family, to pour into their communities.

Many immigrant communities can all but put up a can at a store asking for donations and nine out ten patrons will add something to it.

Meanwhile, Black folks have to set up GoFundMes and hope that some kind stranger accidentally clicks on their link and gives them something toward some decent flowers.

And it’s not about being critical; it’s about seeing things for what they are and implementing strategies which could work to change things.

4 Keys to Uniting Our Community

1. Solidarity– We have GOT to come together on something other than who’s dishing the best tea or who someone is wearing. There are major issues, such as gun violence and bullying of all kinds, which should get more focused attention. The key behind the protest was to prove a point. Had some decided to participate and others didn’t, it would not have been so impactful.

2. Targeted Goal – They didn’t simply march up and down the street with picket signs or go on Facebook rants. They hit the economy hard. Truly hit America where it would hurt a businessman turned politician the most: in his pockets.

3. Action over Dialogue – I was almost caught off guard by the protest. I believe that this speaks to their style of communication. If you weren’t a member of the community, they didn’t waste time trying to let you know what was going on. They also didn’t make a bunch of threats and start planning to plan; they just said, “This is what we’re gonna do on this date”. And actually did it.

4. See the Bigger Picture – Despite taking such a stand also meant less income in their homes, this was not given priority. But, think about it: if you saw someone arrest your father, uncle, brother, your family crying, uncertain of whether you would see them again, literally watching your family being torn to shreds, would sacrificing a funky $100 to sit at home and catch up on Netflix really be all that important?

Unfortunately, Black folks kindly excused themselves from this protest. Can’t be playing with that rent money check when they’re playing with the tax refunds, too. We need our money (in my T. T. from Set It Off voice).

But, wholly, this speaks to that lack of identity within the Black community. Hell, we’re just learning what to do with our hair for real and we still be trying to rock these little struggle natural styles.

But, maybe this is where we start.

Because, honestly, I don’t identify as an immigrant or a native of this country. I’ve always felt like I’ve been living out of my suitcase, unable to establish any real roots for myself or my family line.
Either way, just bring back our tacos.

That is all.

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