There are moments in history when we will be judged not for our actions, but rather the lack of it. If history has taught us anything it is that we cannot sit silently and wait for someone else to speak out; fighting for what's right has always required loud voices, an outcry, unity of purpose and tenacity.
Over the past few months, we have witnessed unspeakable actions against immigrant families fleeing possible death and seeking asylum in the United States of America. Our country whose moral fiber is grounded in the sanctity of the family, implemented a policy to separate children from their parents. Our country whose fledgling charter resounded with freedom, justice, and equality for all is now punishing those who seek these very things in the most inhumane way possible. Our country whose symbol of liberty is emblazoned with an invitation to the world to bring their huddled masses yearning to be free locked babies in cages after wresting them from their mother's bosoms.
I salute those who spoke loudly and acted with resolve to send a message that America does not support these actions, and I stand with everyone who stands in opposition to current immigration strong-arm tactics and mental and physical abuse.
As a descendant of enslaved Africans, I understand all too well the psychological damage that was inflicted when children were separated from their parents, sold, and sent to work on Southern plantations and in the Caribbean never to see their parents again. Several generations grew up not knowing the solace of a mother's love or the warmth of a family circle, and whether it is acknowledged or not, it enacted a terrible mental toll. I will not go into a breakdown of what amounted to generations of alienation but suffice it to say we still pay the price to this day.
Even though President Trump signed an executive order to stop the separations that are occurring at our southern border, still thousands of children have yet to be reunited with their families and still languish in "no contact" lock up's.
No parent in America should sleep soundly until this horrible situation comes to an end and mothers can hold their babies, once again and be treated humanely and fairly.
We cannot wait another month, another week, or even another day; this situation requires immediate remediation.
It is stunning that one could devise and implement as a strategy the separation of families in this way; this speaks to a fundamental lack of empathy at the least and pathological cruelty at its worst. It flies in the face of everything good that our country is supposed to uphold.
"All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to stand by and do nothing."
I will not stand by and do nothing; I will add my voice to those who are taking a stand for decency, for kindness, for humanity, and for those who are powerless to speak for themselves. I will take all action available to me to fight for what I know to be right and just. When history is written about this moment, I want to be counted as someone who took action and stood for justice.
I ask you to stand with me, let Plainfield be known as a city where the value of every person regardless of ethnicity, origin, race, orientation or creed is treated with equality. Let Plainfield be heard as a place where people are not afraid to lend their voices in support of decency and humanity. Let Plainfield be known as a city where you can bring your huddled masses yearning to be free, and you will be treated with fairness and dignity. You will be welcome. Let Plainfield stand as an example of those who did not sit by and allow evil to triumph over good.
This is the Plainfield I know, and it's the Plainfield I am proud to call my home.
Creating, One Plainfield, One Future
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield