During the holiday season, let’s be grateful for our privileges and use them to support others as allies. In the nation’s current political climate, our undocumented neighbors need the support of Fresnans and citizens everywhere.
The President’s demonizing portrayal of our undocumented neighbors has created an alienating environment where these individuals feel unsupported and under attack. Contrary to President Trump’s portrayals, undocumented individuals are business owners, college-educated and important to our culturally diverse city.
As a news reader, I understand the toll one may feel after reading countless negative headlines covering the attacks on marginalized groups everywhere. It may leave some feeling hopeless. Even so, we need to remember to listen to the stories and experiences of our neighbors.
We must keep in mind that we are all humans, and we all deserve respect regardless of class, race and national origin. Lastly, we need to recognize the important role we all play as allies.
Therefore, I call on the residents of Fresno and citizens everywhere to interrupt intolerant language aimed at members of our community. It is time, now more than ever, to engage as upstanding allies to members of disadvantaged groups. One way allyship can be established is by supporting policies that support the undocumented community and holding elected officials accountable for misjudgements or lack of support. Above all, we need to be for each other, because together we are stronger.
Bush Memorial Service
It is instructive to read the account of the Bush Memorial Service in the Fresno Bee and watch the service on MSNBC. What is observed is an unusual confluence of political streams.
One large stream was a eulogy by former Senator Alan Simpson, a report issued by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and, of course, our departed President Bush. The report was focused on Michael Flynn and the role he played in the Trump administration as a contact man with the Russians to assure the election of Trump, as well as on Flynn’s departure from the White House.
An important part of the Memorial Service at the National Cathedral was several dignitaries sitting side by side. They were President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
To add further to the confluence with perhaps smaller streams that became larger as Senator Simpson eulogized that Bush “was a man without hate” and “was loyal to his friends.” These positive virtues cannot be attributed to Trump.
The same TV program ran footage of the meeting Obama and Trump had before the inauguration of Trump. At that meeting, Obama warned Trump not to hire Flynn for his White House staff. Add this to the fact that Trump, in the 2016 campaign and beyond, vilified both Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Unfortunately for the country, Trump has demonstrated he is disloyal to his friends and associates by his public denunciation of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and his special attorney, Michael Cohen. Trump seems to be a man without knowledge or virtue.
Dr. Alex Vavoulis
Professor Emeritus, Fresno