Undocumented man arrested after leaving sanctuary to meet with immigration officials
How can you trust the police when they corroborate with evil? On Friday Samuel Bruno-Oliver was entrapped at the USCIS office in Morrisville. In good faith he left the safety of sanctuary at City Well in Durham to give his biometrics as he continues to appeal his deportation letter.
Unfortunately ICE abruptly and unjustly took him into custody while still with his church. Theologically speaking, a church is anywhere the people of Jesus gather together, 27 of them at least were with Samuel and yet ICE used his good-faith appointment as a means to arrest him live on social media and in lieu of a group gathered in prayer and worship.
Samuel’s story is heartbreaking; his family has been legally here for years. Only recently has his green card been revoked. He was the sole provider for an ailing wife, and yet is still facing deportation to a very dangerous Mexican city. ICE officials have condemned him as “convicted.”
How is this nothing more than unjust arrest? How can we continue to trust our police if they are also working in concert with unjust oppressors? Durham citizens we need to take action, and speak out to stop these atrocities from continuing to occur.
Sam and the judge
Recently Orange County District Judge Scarlett compared Silent Sam to Hitler and by extension the human suffering of slaves to that of the Holocaust. Based upon her remarks, it is not clear how well Ms. Scarlett knew Sam or Adolph Hitler.
Statistically speaking, Sam had not celebrated his 21st birthday when he enlisted, choosing loyalty to his home state over loyalty to the Union. He was one among 4,000 from the university: some fought for the North, most fought for the South.
Even though he grew up in an agrarian setting, he probably didn’t own slaves even though he defended a culture that depended upon slavery: unlike his counterpart in Blue who defended a culture that depended upon indentured servitude. Sam never ran for office. He would never celebrate his 25th birthday. Sam’s mother would endure the loss of her son and 12 years of Reconstruction atrocities.
Ironically, using mobs that obliterate history in order to rewrite it is not only a hallmark of Hitler but every tyrant since the Exodus that would enslave their subjects. Judge Scarlett views history through the prism of neo-abolitionism and the fury it stokes. Nonetheless, as offensive as her remarks may have been, they were equally as chilling. God forbid Sam or his legacy ever appear in her courtroom.
Thankful for options
I have lived everywhere: public housing, section 8, hotel/motel, a house with a swimming pool, etc., and now, JFK Towers (affordable senior housing). I “count it all good.” (James 1:2-3)
I was back in Eastern North Carolina a few weeks before Thanksgiving, house and pet sitting in my son’s two-story, four-bedroom home where he resides with Gizmo, Prince and Aspen (his canine family). I watched the local news and was saddened when I saw that a public housing community flooded by Hurricane Florence is now uninhabitable. There was a woman speaking from New Bern. She appeared to be about my age (70). She had lost everything.
I reflected on what we have in Durham. With stories like that I can’t address gentrification and homelessness. Been there, seen that; however, I had options. I am thankful.
I once had a neighbor, at JFK Towers. She indicated she had been homeless in Raleigh. Someone told her that if she came to Durham that she would probably get housing more quickly. She did. When my family lived in McDougald Terrace back in the ‘50s, there was a library at the office. I remember someone donating books to the reading room at Oldham towers long ago. As we establish and extend affordable housing in Durham, I would like to see more reading rooms on site, with computers and volunteer tutors for children and adults.
Brenda Buie Burnette
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