Mayor Milqetoast thinks “Sanctuary” is just a political term.
Today, members of Mijente, Black Lives Matter Louisville, SURJ and Stand Up Sundays and others set up camp outside of the Immigration building on Seventh street.
“Our vision of the future requires people to take direct action,” they said in a statement released Sunday evening. “We are in a state of emergency, and calls for civility, for asking permission, securing the right permits, and politely debating policies that are deemed “pragmatic” will not save us. These passive actions actually put Black and Brown communities in harm’s way. Our liberation is tied to dismantling the police state, not asking permission from it.”
The group erected tents that were removed by LMPD. They scattered toys in the driveway of the building to symbolize the innocence lost and the many young lives being interrupted by the Trump administration’s policies. LMPD cleared the toys. LMPD has been omnipresent since the occupation began this morning. ICE was not. Immigration court was canceled for the day.
“These young people saw last year when they were pushing for Louisville to become a Sanctuary city that we would get to this point,” said KY House Rep. Attica Woodson Scott, who is planning to visit the occupation,spoke at both rallies this weekend at Metro Hall and in front of the ICE building. “If we had listened before it maybe it wouldn’t have softened the ground for children to be in cages.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer failed to declare Louisville a Sanctuary city last year when asked. He’s taken the bare minimum of measures to protect immigrants in our community, supposedly preventing Louisville Metro Police from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Fischer also says that sanctuary is “a political term.” The Trump Administration has separated children from their parents, some of whom may never be reunited with their families.
I guess, to Fischer, these removals are just political posturing. Certainly, no actual children or people ar
e adversely affected. Eyeroll.
And Fischer, after all of the months of being asked by local immigrant community leaders and activists to make Louisville a sanctuary, still doesn’t appear to get it. He still thinks it’s about playing politics.
That isn’t exactly the truth.
I believe that Fischer does get it. He just doesn’t give a damn and refuses to do anything that might mean loosening his necktie and rolling up his sleeves to protect vulnerable people in our community. He wants to claim Sanctuary is just a term because he doesn’t want to have skin in the game.
Sanctuary is” just a political term” like “vote” is just a term. It has action at its root. Fischer doesn’t want to take any real or bold action.
Fischer expects Louisvillians to come to his aid at the ballot box this fall and my gut says that because his opponent is Republican Angela Leet, he feels that he’s already won in Liberal Louisville.
Because of this, he won’t do anything. For him, nothing is at stake.
Scott warns against Fischer feeling too comfortable, “That’s a comfort that should not be taken for granted,” she said.
“What we’ve seen time and time again, whether it’s the gubernatorial or the senate race, is that people will make a conscious decision to vote but not to vote for the mayor’s seat in november if they feel like neither one of the candidates represents their best interest but they will vote for every other seat on the ballot.”
Fischer shows up to rallies and events, waves his hands, mumbles a few words of empty rhetoric then scoots away in his black car, off to the next fundraiser or event where he inevitably repeats the same thing.
“That’s not something he should take lightly or take for granted,” says Scott. “We’ve just seen where taking for granted the votes of black people can result in your not winning a race. If you’re taking us for granted, you’re probably also taking for granted poor people and people who feel like the foot of government is on their necks.”
Not much has been asked of Fischer in Louisville but mediocrity and he’s very good at being minimally acceptable. He’s done the minimum to prevent LMPD from working with ICE. He’s done the minimum to address the concerns of and to protect communities of color and immigrants, which are often in the same community. Fischer’s propensity toward the most milquetoast of actions is contagious.
Milk Toast or Mayor Greg Fischer’s Actions
Typically one of our more outspoken voices, U.S. Representative John Yarmuth was asked today if he supports abolishing ICE by a protester at the #OccupyICELou event.
Yarmuth said, “I was on MSNBC saying exactly the same thing.”
When pushed further about his position, he said, “First we can’t abolish ICE right now. We’re in the minority,” alluding to the fact that Democrats are in the political minority in the current government.
In the cell phone video posted to Facebook, someone off camera says to Yarmuth, “We can’t pass Medicare for All right now.”
Then another voice interjects, “ but you support it. Why can’t you support abolishing ICE.”
Yarmuth said he doesn’t feel like that’s the answer right now then says perhaps defunding the organization might be a solution.
What’s the difference? Defund it or end it. Just spit it out. Dancing around the topic serves no one. Yarmuth’s political position is as safe as Fischer’s. Neither has an excuse to tiptoe around these topics and neither has anything to lose if they boldly stand against ICE and the actions of this administration.
Both of their responses speak to larger issues and is emblematic of the fact that these two men, white and wealthy, have nothing at stake. Their lives, bodies, and potential are not at risk. They have security and the security of others is secondary.
Fischer is unique in that he not only does the bare minimum, he also tries to temper the language and reactions of others.
“Fischer continues to try to tell people of color what language is best for them to use,” says Scott. “That’s something that a colonizer would do. That’s how someone who has absolutely no real authentic relationship with people of color and communities of color would do.”
Fischer’s inaction is unacceptable.
Yarmuth might need clarity but Fischer’s needs a major overhaul. He needs to step up and serve those that elected him to office. He needs to understand that his position is not secure and that even if he is re-elected, he will still need to answer to the voices of his community.
In this America where confrontation is commonplace, Fischer should expect that his dinners may not be as quiet and his appearances may not go as he plans. Every time he speaks or mumbles nonsense into a microphone, he needs to be checked and reminded that the people he’s supposed to protect and to work in the service of are still in danger and their children are still having their babies locked in cages. No Justice, No Peace. The letter “D” by your name doesn’t protect you from answering your citizens.
The Occupying Coalition made it plain, “Rallies are not enough, it’s time to put our bodies on the line. To all of those who are ready to act: The time is now.”
What are you waiting for, Greg?