On October 30th, President Donald Trump released a memo declaring November 1st a “National Day of Remembrance for Americans Killed By Illegal Aliens”.
Almost immediately, Latinos recognized that Trump’s “day of remembrance” directly coincided with another significant day of remembrance–Dia de Muertos.
The proclamation stated that the purpose of the rememberance day was to honor the lives of Americans who were “so egregiously taken from us by criminal illegal aliens.” It continued: “As sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and as American citizens, these precious lives are an irreplaceable piece of our national community.”
Trump concluded the statement by saying that we “recommit to ensuring that those responsible for these tragedies face justice, while taking every action to prevent these horrific acts from occurring in our Nation.”
Naturally, many Americans saw this as a direct slap in the face to Latinos who celebrate Dia de Muertos on the same day.
It is no secret that Trump has openly derided Mexican immigrants on multiple occasions, calling them “drug dealers”, “criminals”, “rapists”, and “bad hombres”.
Throughout his term, he has sought to limit all forms of immigration from the Southern border–even asylum seekers. His reasoning is that immigrants from Mexico are violent and dangerous, but statistics paint a different story. Studies have shown that crime rates are actually lower among immigrants than they are among native-born Americans.
This type of cultural insensitivity reminds is reminiscent of Trump’s Oklahoma campaign rally over the summer. As a refresher, Trump held the rally in Tulsa on June 11th–also known as Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of Black Americans from slavery. The fact that the rally was held in Tulsa also added insult to injury. Tulsa is the infamous site of the Tulsa Race Massacre, where jealous white Americans slaughtered residents of Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street” en masse. Either Trump didn’t do his homework, or he was blatantly inflaming historical racial wounds. Either way, the decision was thoughtless.
Of course, many people on Twitter were shocked and appalled by Trump’s ‘National Remembrance Day’ proclamation.
This proclamation reeks of blatant race-baiting and overall disrespect for this deeply sentimental Latin American tradition.
This Latina doesn’t seem to be convinced that the date Trump chose for this “Remembrance Day” was coincidental.
The anti-Latino sentiment coming from Trump is undeniable this time.
This Twitter user couldn’t help but point out the hypocrisy of calling certain immigrants “illegal” when the OG illegal immigrants were white colonizers.
Where is the remembrance day for the millions of Indigenous people killed by European colonizers? Or the millions of Africans who were stolen from their ancestral homes and forced into slavery?
This Twitter user pointed out the statistical disparity between Americans killed by “illegal aliens” and those killed by COVID-19.
We wish Donald Trump would’ve used this same energy when it came to containing and controlling the spread of the coronavirus across the United States at the beginning of this year.
With homosexuality still illegal in more than 60 countries around the world and attitudes towards transgendered people often even less welcoming, it’s obvious why so many people risk their lives to migrate to the United States.
However, that journey to a better life is often one of many dangerous hurdles and often times, once swept up in immigration proceedings, things don’t get much better.
LGBTQ detainees across the country have shared harrowing experiences of being mocked or tortured for their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many others have been sexually assaulted while in ICE custody or while waiting for their asylum claims at the U.S.-Mexico border. And transgendered and HIV-positive detainees have both been denied medically necessary healthcare that has posed a risk to their lives.
LGBTQ migrants have the same issues and problems to worry about that all other migrants face, however, the LGBTQ experience comes with several extra hurdles.
LGBTQ migrants coming to the U.S. face unique challenges that often put them at increased risk of violence.
Like so many others, LGBTQ migrants are often fleeing violence and persecution in their native countries. But despite often fleeing sexual violence and trans- and homophobia, so many migrants are sexually assaulted while in U.S. custody.
While just 0.14 percent of ICE detainees self-identified as LGBTQ in 2017, they reportedly accounted for 12 percent of sexual abuse and assault victims.
Based on a new report from the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization, LGBTQ migrants in federal detention centers are 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than other detainees.
Studies show LGBTQ migrants are among the most vulnerable, more likely to be assaulted and killed, especially trans migrants. Of Central American LGBTQ migrants interviewed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in 2017, 88 percent were victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their countries of origin; two-thirds suffered similar attacks in Mexico.
Human rights group allege that ICE fails to provide proper medical care to LGBTQ migrants – particularly trans and HIV-positive detainees.
Migrant advocacy groups and several lawmakers have demanded that ICE release all LGBTQ detainees and anyone with HIV in the agency’s custody, because the government has repeatedly failed to provide adequate medical and mental health care to them.
“We know that lack of medical and mental-health care, including lack of HIV care, is the norm,” Roger Coggan, director of legal services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “By the Department of Homeland Security’s own count, 300 individuals identifying as transgender have been in custody and at the mercy of ICE since October of 2018.
For detainees with HIV, antiretroviral treatment is necessary to help kill and suppress the virus which ensures a healthy life but also reduces the risk of transmission to basically zero. Yet ICE is failing to provide this life-saving care.
Johana Medina Leon, a transgender woman who was detained at Otero and had tested positive for HIV, fell seriously ill and died at a hospital in nearby El Paso. Leon, 25, was the second trans woman to die in ICE custody in New Mexico in the past year. Roxsana Hernandez, 33, died in November 2018 after falling ill at the Cibola County Correctional Facility.
Meanwhile, Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is presenting additional challenges to the LGBTQ community.
While the Trump administration has severely limited asylum qualifications for Central Americans fleeing gang violence and domestic abuse, migrants can still request asylum based on persecution because of their gender identity and/or their sexual orientation. But their path is far from easy.
The administration continues to return LGBTQ migrants to Mexican border cities where they face assaults, kidnappings and death while they await U.S. court hearings.
“Here, the same as at home, the police discriminate against us,” Alejandro Perez told NBC News in early October. “We’re very vulnerable. I don’t feel safe here in Mexico.”
Border Patrol officials initially said “vulnerable” asylum seekers would be exempted from the Remain in Mexico program, including those who are LGBTQ, pregnant or disabled. But that hasn’t been the case.
Thankfully, the LGBTQ Center Orange County is working hard to protect and help the most vulnerable.
Southern California is home to the nation’s largest undocumented community, which means organizations like the LGBTQ Center Orange County have their work cut out for them. However, the center has proudly stood up to help in powerful and life-changing ways.
The LGBTQ Center OC is one of the leading migrant outreach centers in the region, attending numerous events throughout the year and providing outreach at the Mexican consulate in Santa Ana – each year reaching more than 5,000 people. The center also played a pivotal role in ending the partnership of Santa Ana Police and the Orange County Sheriff with ICE, bringing an end to ICE detention within the county.
As those migrants were detained at facilities outside the county – sometimes more than two hours away – the center mobilized volunteers to help stay in touch with detainees. This team helps provide much needed companionship through letters and notes, as well as providing legal representation and even cash payments that help detainees get everything from a filling meal to in-person visits.
And the work the center does is so important because it shouldn’t just be on detainees to speak out. All of us as part of the LGBTQ and migrant communities should support those in detention and speak out about the injustices they’re suffering in detention.
The Center is hosting a digital posada and you’re invited!
We all know the tradition of a posada. So many of us grew up with a holiday season full of them and although this year will look very different (thanks to Covid-19), the LGBTQ Center OC wants to keep the tradition and celebration alive.
Posadas commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph in search of a safe refuge, a sentiment that so many migrants and refugees in our communities can relate to. It’s with this spirit that the center is hosting it’s annual posada – but virtually.
The important event is free for all to attend but is a critical fundraising event that enables the center to do all that it does for the LGBTQ migrant community across Southern California. You can learn more and RSVP here but just know that it’s an event you do not want to miss.
Not only will you be able to virtually hang out with members of the community and leaders from the LGBTQ Center OC but there will also be a screening of the short documentary, Before & After Detention, a spirited round of lotería, raffle, and a live performance by the LGBTQ Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Angeles.
Surprise, surprise! Another racist white woman ahs been caught on camera harassing her Black neighbors. This time the target was a Black family who had been neighbors of the alleged racist for more than ten years.
It seems that every week we see new videos going viral involving white peoples being racists. In some of these incidents, these individuals have threatened or called the police on Black Americans doing seemingly routine or nonthreatening activities.
Such actions from white Americans have received heightened national scrutiny, particularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism demonstrations that have taken place across the country and around the world in the past several months. Demonstrators have called for an end to systemic racism in U.S. society, and in particular for major police reforms and changes to the justice system.
But none of that seemed to matter to this woman who wanted her Black neighbors to start acting white.
A White woman is going viral after threatening her Black neighbor and telling her to “act white.”
The Jones family, who have lived in California’s Discovery Bay neighborhood for more than ten years, captured their neighbor asking, “Why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”
According to the family, who spoke with local media, they haven’t previously had any problems with white neighbors. But that changed when a white neighbor confronted them on Monday, in an incident that was captured on video.
Gerritt Jones and his family have lived in the Bay Area neighborhood for 12 years and say they’ve never had any issues involving the woman they identify as Adana Dean, who lives across the street from them.
In surveillance video and cell phone video provided to ABC7 News by the Jones family, you can hear Adana say “You know what? You guys are acting like Black people and you should act like white people.”
She goes on to say in another clip “You’re a Black person in a white neighborhood and you’re acting like one why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”
“Unfortunately that’s the reality of being black in America,” says Gerritt.
The incident made headlines and got the attention of the country sheriff.
Adana had threatened the family with her racist words but was also holding a stun gun when she confronted the family. As a result, the Contra Costa County Sheriff did respond to the incident and spoke to both parties, although no charges were filed.
“The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff takes these types of acts seriously. Deputy sheriffs responded to the home yesterday and contacted both parties involved,” Jimmy Lee, director of public affairs at the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.
Although deputies determined that no crime had been committed, a report was taken to document the interaction between the two neighbors, as the original complaint was in reference to a neighbor dispute due to an off-leash dog,” Lee said.
Unfortunately, incidents like this one are far too common across the country.
“It don’t matter if you grew up in a gated community your whole life,” Gerritt Jones, another family member, told KNTV. “It’s bound to happen. It’s going to happen. And as African Americans, unfortunately, we have to prepare our children on how to deal with this.”
“It was just very angering to see that come to our front door,” Jariell Jones, another family member added. She said her family has always gone out of their way to “be extra nice, say ‘yes, ma’am, yes, sir,’ which I feel is sick that we even have to feel that way.”
Jones added, “But even though we were trying to be good Black people in their good white neighborhood, they still treated us this way.”
However, the incident has empowered the family to be who they are. “We’re going to act Black in our white neighborhood,” Jones added.