Carols Munoz said, “I journeyed here from Venezuela to give my four-year-old son the things that he didn’t have—a meaningful education, the freedom to express his opinions without fear of persecution, a job where he can earn enough money to afford food.” Munoz was studying electrical engineering before his country’s economy collapsed and he had to leave school. He hopes to go back to school and hopes to send his son to college someday. He went on to say, "I want peace, and tranquility.”
He along with dozens of others have found themselves unexpectedly caught in Gov. DeSantis’ inhumane attitude and behavior which allows him to relocate them to Martha’s Vineyard as a part of his plan to engage his fight with his Democratic opponents. The idea that a person would decide to use other human beings in this manner is abhorrent. There are much better ways to make a political point than this. All of us who care about decency, freedom and understand that Carlos Munoz and all of the other people who brave so many untenable conditions to get to our shores are our sisters and brothers must stand and speak against such behavior.
Of course, we have to think about the manner in which we welcome the stranger to our shores. There is no denying that we need to work on our immigration policy and that we have many parts of it to resolve in better ways. But using human beings in this manner as pawns and props is certainly not a part of an acceptable solution.
As we reflect upon National Hispanic/Latinx Awareness Month from now until October 15, it would be well to take many deep breaths and reflect upon how we are treating our Latinx family members. There is no way to make DeSantis’ behavior acceptable, any more than we could make it acceptable to put children in cages during the previous administration.
I continue to wonder what it will take for us as individuals and collectively to accept the fact that there is one Creator, who has created all of us, and that we are all loved equally. It is true, and whether we like knowing that or not does not matter. However, if we have any interest in having personal and collective lives that are reasonably peaceful and healthy, we will have to work at learning to allow all of the Creator’s children to be welcome on this earth. DeSantis’s disregard for the humanity of the persons that he had put on charter flights and relocated to Martha’s Vineyard is unacceptable and we need to stand against such acts as non-negotiables as we work to find a remedy to our immigration challenges. As we work on any policy, we need to be careful how we treat the human beings who are in front of us. As a nation, we have not been careful about this in the past. The result has not been positive for us and the deep wounds that exist in this current moment have resulted from such behavior. Though humans find it difficult to learn from history, we need to try harder.
Everyday continues to call us to be, "a half shade braver.” Will you take off your shoes with me and all of the others who wish to walk in our Latinx sisters’ and brothers’ shoes today as they search for peace and tranquility and walk with them? Will you allow yourself to stand in solidarity with them?