One of the many rallies held around the nation on June 30th to protest the separation of families who have crossed the border into the United States occurred in the sleepy village of East Quogue, in the Town of Southampton, NY. Organized by MoveOn.org. during the weeks following the news of the separation of children from parents, this peaceful rally attracted a few hundred people and some local politicians.
On this hot Saturday afternoon attendees gathered in the park carrying home-made signs and flags, and wearing T-shirts and other symbols of disagreement with the separation of children from parents. Surprising to me was that virtually all those present were apparently Caucasian, and that many came as familes with young children. Clearly it was a teaching moment for the parents who could be overheard explaining what it means to protest something, and how to conduct themselves during the speeches being delivered by a victim of the policy, a town official running for re-elction, and the organizers.
The Hamptons rely heavily upon new immigrant laborers for the many restaurants and resorts, as well as for lawn care and construction, among many other work opportunities. Recently, deli’s serving ethnic food have sprung up, and churches are welcoming laborers with services in Spanish. Immigration and other needed services are being offered, as well. Sadly, housing is a major issue: many were found camping in the woods through the winter months.
It was moving to see the white villagers and, maybe vacationers, out in support of uniting families, but it was concening that the population most affected was absent. Were they all working to keep lawns manicured, meals prepared and served, and homes cleaned on this sweltering Saturday? Were they afraid to gather in public? Maybe it was a combination of these and other motives. I’m glad we were there to represent ourselves, US citizens who know that our nation is above the the current policies coming out of the White House, and to represent them, the victims of the hate being disseminated by some. ~ by Patricia Krasnausky, President and CEO, Cabirni Eldercare