Just a few weeks ago we heard of the harrowing story of women at detention camps in southern states in the United States being forcibly sterilized against their will. For so many, this story reminded them of the countless Native American women who were sterilized against their will. It also reminded many people of the thousands of Black women who were sterilized during the Civil Rights Movement. A process that happened so often to Black women, it was known as a “Mississippi appendectomy.” One of the most famous women forcibly sterilized against her will was the late, great civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer.
It came as a surprise to few that it was a Black nurse who blew the whistle on these latest heinous acts. What is unknown to many are the number of undocumented Black immigrants currently being held at detention centers across the country. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is working tirelessly to bring the plight of Black undocumented immigrants into the national discourse. Immigrants from African nations, islands throughout the Caribbean and most specifically Haiti, are being held indefinitely in detention centers without due process or any clarity as to what their future holds.
As the president continues to downplay the COVID-19 crisis and to strongarm once respected doctors in order to provide unclear and misleading information about his health, it is apparent that the president and his administration do not care about the people in their own inner circles, let alone some of the most vulnerable populations in this country.
There are so many important issues for us to think about for the upcoming election Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. Whether education, the environment, health care, jobs, or civil rights are your primary concerns, we must reject the Republican Party’s claims of election fraud and illegitimacy of this election (while they simultaneously engage in voter fraud and voter suppression across the country). We must not only go to the polls on Nov. 3rd to protect our own interests, but we must vote in order to protect the interests and civil liberties for those who are unable to vote.
As the president continues to stage public relations events for himself and his base, we must look at him and never forget the white nationalist policies he supports and promotes. He has made it abundantly clear that his main concern is staying in power. Immigrants mean nothing to him, even though four of his five children have an immigrant for a mother. His cruelty knows no depths and when we cast our ballots, we must remember that the first lady of the United States wore a jacket to visit children in detention camps that read, “I really don’t care. Do U?” Well, we do care and our vote and organizing efforts must reflect that.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.