As I reported yesterday, around 70 people gathered in Aberdeen’s Anderson Park (a really good location for protests—remember that for future rallies!) to protest the federal government’s atrocious policy of separating families at our southern border. Here are some of the speeches offered by some good Americans.
Rally co-organizer Marie Miller from Andover says we must not tolerate any elected official’s excuses for the immoral policy of separating children from parents arriving in our country:
Wendy Blegen of Britton, Navy veteran and organizer of the Prairie Persisters, is disgusted that our government is committing child abuse:
Sam Bjorkman, Aberdeen, reads a statement from his dad, Tim Bjorkman, Democratic candidate for U.S. House. Rally organizers asked our sitting Congressional delegation for statements on family separation; only Senator John Thune replied, and it included the “buts” that Marie Miller finds morally unacceptable.
Cory Allen Heidelberger (that’s me!) speaks about the local dehumanization that makes public tolerance of the current Administration’s human rights abuses possible, the proper political response to such atrocities, and sharing the American dream.
Methodist Pastor Lou Whitmer says our American values and her Christian values demand that we speak up against family separation. She reminds us that Christians follow “an itinerant migrant rabbi whose story even before his birth was focused on those who were being oppressed by empire and extreme political power” and told the nations that they would be judged on “how they treated others they considered to be the least.” Said that rabbi, “Whatever you do to the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you also do to me.” That rabbi “debated and challenged the powers that be, those that perpetuated oppression”—Pastor Lou makes that rabbi sound like my kind of guy:
Lawrence Diggs from Rosholt brings his usual deep thoughts about psychology and humanity, the deepest of which today was “I am not like you; I am you…. They are not like us, my friends, they are us, and that is why we are here.”
UCC Pastor Ginny Adams of Aberdeen reminds us of Margaret Mead’s faith that a “small group of thoughtful, committed people” can change the world:
A local woman speaks of her experience helping migrant children at a Texas shelter after Hurricane Harvey last fall. She also brings her new dog Roman to point out that we don’t want dogs or children in cages:
Aberdeen orchestra teacher Joe Berns boils it down to one great call to action: Teach empathy:
10. Sister Myra from Presentation speaks of the honest hard work Hispanic immigrants in Aberdeen are doing to support their families and become a part of our community. (By the way, that’s Avera’s helicopter buzzing their own Catholic Sister—pass that up to management!)
11. Soccer coach and English teacher Jeremy Wood from Jamestown took a break from the tournament in town to show his solidarity with our cause. He echoed Pastor Lou’s teaching that “the measure of society is how well you treat the least of us” and that our society “can do better” than tearing apart families at the border. ¡Familias unidas—no dividas!