I am making this post as an appeal to all of my Torches.
The Ideal Firestarter is a place created for support, love, and to talk about hard things. This issue facing undocumented people in the United States of America is similar to the atrocities facing the Jewish people in the late 1930’s.
I know that it all seems scary, oppressive and overwhelming, Torches. I want you to know there is something you can do. And it’s on your phone. Your phone.
Operating systems aside, there is a formidable weapon that you can use to be an ally during this time of upheaval is your smartphone!
I personally have two apps on my phone that are able to translate from English to Arabic, German and Spanish. What I will ask, what am I asking for what you all to do, Torches, is to pay attention to what is going on around you.
Think of it in three steps:
1.) Download your chosen application. Most of these apps allow for a thirty day trial. This is the best investment in your activism. I promise you.
2.) Become familiar with your community. The world is not as big as people would think that it is. Most of these incidents and raids happen within the sights of the surrounding communities! Most people don’t know their neighbors or–let’s be honest–they may not want to know them! But we are in a place in this nation where ignorance is detriment! It’s harder to deceive people that pay attention.
3.) Be bold. In incidents like what happened in Mississippi, I encourage you to use this app! These apps have the unique ability to translate a phrase to a chosen language and amplify that phrase! This means you can put it on speakerphone!
You can use simple phrases like:
“You don’t have to talk to anyone without an attorney!”
“ICE is outside! Do you have your ID?”
“Police officers must identify themselves!“
“You don’t have to talk to anyone!”
“You have the right to ask for an officer who can speak Spanish!”
I know this looks like, sounds like, something that is impossible. But it isn’t! Even if you just told one person whom does not look like you, this information? It is invaluable! Being an ally is an asset: you are a resource. You are accessible and able to travel in circles the oppressed population may not be able to!
Being able to give something that is as crucial as legal information that will empower? Information that can protect their own lives as well, as the lives of the people precious to them? This information is then passed around that same community! That information is now a part of culture and further communication.
Ergo, that leg of the oppressive system is dismantled.
Torches, the times are dark. But the thing about being a Torch, of being a part of a this family, and this space? Torches provide light and heat! The light exposes and reveals. Heat provides energy to do that needs to be done.
Protecting the those that cannot, speaking for those that cannot, that is what Torches do! I never ask you all to do anything that I wouldn’t, that I don’t ask of myself.
Be active. Download the app. Don’t let crazy happen in front of you and nothing be said! Be a Torch. Stay a Torch. Remember what James Baldwin if you think that ignoring the world around you is beneficial;if you begin to think the current ills of the world won’t touch you: