Stand Up Norwalk (SUN) was formed to stand up against the xenophobia, racism and scapegoating that is on the rise in our city, our country and the world.
Locally, for instance, last Saturday anti-Muslim flyers were distributed in South Norwalk calling to mind the “MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN” flyers that were circulated in the city in February. Furthermore, currently two mothers, each of whom has lived in Norwalk for more than 20 years, are being threatened with deportation. Why? Because as undocumented immigrants they are being scapegoated for crimes and economic woes.
Nationally, on the other hand, there are President Trump’s staccato racist and xenophobic dog whistles. As Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for President, put it in a Facebook post regarding President Trump’s remarks following the white supremacists’ march in Charlottesville, for example, what he “communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.” Furthermore, after the President pardoned Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on Aug. 25, an editorial in The New York Times noted that Mr. Arpaio, “spent a good part of his near-quarter-century in office terrorizing the Latinos of southern Arizona, locking them up for the crime of having brown skin, abusing and humiliating them, refusing to stop even after a federal judge told him to, and arresting journalists for reporting on it all.”
Finally, with respect to the world outside our borders, nativist anti-immigrant politicians in Austria, Britain, France, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands and elsewhere have all gained favor in recent years. And as the Financial Times pointed out recently, nobody represents their views better than Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, who declared that the historical question Europeans face today is whether Europe will “remain the continent for Europeans.”
Hence, we in Norwalk can be proud that we have a mayor who along with more than 200 other Mayors around the country signed a compact “expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry.” But now it is time for our Common Council to express support for his decision and support too for SUN’s resolution expressing pride in the diversity of our citizens and “respect for the enlightenment values embodied in our Country’s founding documents and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
SUN’S next meeting is this Sunday at 5 p.m. If you agree that our elected officials should stand up for the rights of all members of our community regardless of their race, status as immigrants, religion, sex, or sexual orientation please join us on Sunday. To find out where the meeting will take place contact [email protected]
Paul Cantor, Norwalk