An open letter to Charlotte and NC political “leaders”
February 24 of 2017
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke (in a letter addressed to Thomas Mercer)
For the past two weeks I have being thinking deeply about what to say here. What kind of message will I send and how can I touch your hearts and souls?
Like 98% of Americans, I am an immigrant. For if you are not Native American, you (or your parents or grandparents) are an immigrant.. We are American citizens and you are our duly elected representatives. I’m only a recent inductee to the US political system, nevertheless, I have a strong, compassionate political voice. I regret I can’t say the same for most, who strike me as politicians but not leaders. A leader is someone who listens to, and empathizes with, the struggles their constituents face; whilst following their heart for the well being of all people. However, when politicians all too often mirror the actions of Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood from “House of Cards”’, following greed in order to feed their ego or bowing to special interests to curry favor; then they are definitely not what I would call true leaders.
I may be starting my political career off on the wrong foot. It’s entirely possible that many of you won’t enjoy being seated next to me at our political and social events. Alas, we will need find a way to tolerate each other, because I refuse to apologize to anyone for carrying the voice of the people.
Your silence on recent ICE raids has been both deafening and painful. A silence which speaks volumes of your willingness to stand united with us. A silence only broken occasionally by the pitiful parroting of ICE talking points designed to placate, marginalize and criminalize. Then, becoming aware of our existence, you spout the tired line, “Charlotte welcomes everyone”. Seriously? That is all you have to say? To the 8000 who marched in Uptown Charlotte, to 250 business that closed their doors, to 34,000 CMS students living in fear, to 30,000 Mecklenburg and 250,000 NC electoral voters? Have you notice the lion has awoken? We are part of a democracy. You are in your position because of your electorate, you’re running again and this is how you expect to gain our support? The same week the ICE raids started, I was elected President of the NC Democratic Party Hispanic Caucus. What a welcome wagon! After hearing the cries of the people, I have decided my first goal is to lead these 250.000 NC electoral voters to get involved and force you, our elected officials to be accountable for your actions.
I am definitely sympathetic to these victims of ICE raids, I too was once served a deportation order. The only thing that I did was move from Virginia to North Carolina. My Virginian attorney failed to fully inform me of the residency requirements and never notified me of the resulting appointment with Immigration. So, I too was considered a criminal, fearing deportation. Believe me, that last thing that I want is to fill our great nation with criminals; many of us fled our birth countries because we were living in fear in war zones with rampant corruption and crime. Sadly, my example is just one of many.
I invite you to peruse 2016 ICE records to see how many actual criminals were arrested during raids in Mecklenburg County, I can count them on one or two hands. I would like to know why you have agreed to have ICE operate in our city? Are CMPD, Meck Sheriff, FBI, DHS, CIA, DEA, SWAT, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the National Guard not enough?. Why has the taxpayer had to foot the bill for an expensive, racist, jackbooted program like 287g? The City of Charlotte has become one more city funding the private prison system. Families torn apart to line the pockets of thugs. You may not know the last president that reformed immigration policy was Ronald Reagan. I invite you to read a little on the United States’ immigration history. Don’t you think it’s time we fixed this? Or is Immigration just going to be a pawn? Something politicians use only as a tool to get elected.
Again, please forgive me, I recognize that so far I have not said anything to touch your hearts and souls. Constitutionally, your job is to fight and preserve the future or our great nation and the rights of all human beings. Please correct me if I am wrong, but so far, that’s not what you have been doing. One of the self evident truths to which you are sworn to uphold is the right for any family to leave in peace and without fear. What would be the local government’s reaction if in the space of a week, 25 or more South Charlotte families were torn asunder? Parents dragged away from their screaming children by uniformed thugs because an egomaniac manipulated the public and rose to power? This city fathers would cower in fear, the populous terrified.. Why do I feel that you are treating us as second class citizens?
Charlotte will not declare itself a Sanctuary city because it fears losing what it thinks is important Federal funding. I assume this is to pay for more uniformed thugs. Raleigh holds all the power over our city council, commissioner and mayor.. Are you our same elected representatives who fought tooth and nail against HB2 for our dear LGBT community? You’re not acting like it. Did you lose your spines when Trump was elected?
I fear that I still have not said anything that touched your hearts and souls. I know that I’m risking my political future and personal safety. However, I also I know that I have written what my heart wanted me to. I know that my soul is in peace, and I did what a leader should. Speak the truth.