It can be so easy to rag on our state and the failures of our leaders, but we cannot ignore the freedoms and privileges living in the Golden State affords us. We just have to make sure to hold on tight and fight back against the wave of hate and fascism that threatens to engulf the nation and destroy our most at-risk communities.
Earlier this year, California legislators voted to reject Assembly Bill 1708, which would have overturned California’s sanctuary status. Had the bill passed, federal agencies — namely U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — would have had easy access to anyone detained for virtually any crime. By shooting down AB 1708, California reinforced its status as a safe place for immigrants.
Around the same time, a Texas mother opted to leave for California. Her reason: fear. Raising a transgender child left knots in her stomach. Worries over simple things like a slip of the tongue or the need for medical care now lurk in the back of many parents’ minds across the South.
But we are free from that.
For as much as we pay in rent and as much crime as there may be, we do not fear the state coming in and taking away children for fallacious reasons or being stopped for a minor offense and ending up in ICE custody.
We understand that governments come riddled with problems and crooked politicians — it’s expected, actually. For this reason, we are a sanctuary. In the Age of Trump, “isms” of every type now rear their ugly heads. They’ve permeated the Republican Party, poisoning it from the inside. Xenophobia, religious zealotry and sex discrimination are all on the rise. Hate is en vogue.
Let it be clear that right now, parts of the U.S. have already begun to regress. A rise in anti-LGBTQ laws and hate crimes against virtually all minorities is reflective of the days before the Nazi regime took power in 1930s Germany. The state-manufactured hatred for minorities made it easy to dehumanize the Jewish population at the time, as well as other minorities like homosexuals and people with developmental disabilities. Let’s not forget that one of President Donald Trump’s early battle cries centered on the narrative that undocumented immigrants from Latin America were rapists and murderers.
“We understand that governments come riddled with problems and crooked politicians — it’s expected, actually. For this reason, we are a sanctuary. In the Age of Trump, “isms” of every type now rear their ugly heads. They’ve permeated the Republican Party, poisoning it from the inside. Xenophobia, religious zealotry and sex discrimination are all on the rise. Hate is en vogue.”
Now more than ever cries for sanctuary echo across the country. California, Massachusetts and other sanctuary states seek to protect the rights and freedoms of all human beings, even as national institutions fail us, evidenced by the fact that we can no longer turn to our Supreme Court to render decisions based on logic and cogent reasoning. Their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in a country where the majority of people support the right to choose tells us that SCOTUS is not FOR US.
Thanks to American federalism, the federal government cannot, for now, dictate how we in the Southland and the rest of California live. We need to continue to take advantage of this.
So when the weather becomes unbearable or your tax refund fails to meet your expectations, remember the payoff. The sense of security and protection we often take for granted will save many people from undue suffering, maybe even people you know and love. The tradeoff can mean the difference between freedom and oppression.