As I follow the news around immigration and the treatment of people in migrant detention camps, I am reminded of last year's interview with Dawn Xiana Moon of Raks Geek. One of Dawn's remarks strikes a deep chord in light of recent events:
In the case of the family separation and detention issue, many of those coming are literally fleeing for their lives. You’re not allowed to apply for refugee status until you’re on US soil, so they’re selling everything they have, running to the US, and hoping that we’ll let them in because the alternative in many cases is death. This is a human rights issue, and we have a moral responsibility to help.
This Friday, July 12th at Newport Theater located at 956 N Newport), Raks Geek is holding a fundraiser for RAICES, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Raks Geek specializes in bellydancing, fire spinning, and other performance arts in geek culture cosplay, and they have a strong philosophy of community responsibility, social justice, and positive action.
There are numerous accounts of the inhumane conditions within the migrant detention camps along the southern border (although, in all honesty, they should be considered concentration camps on American soil). But there are a few key principles in play with how the current administration is treating mishandling immigration rights.
Immigrants who arrive at our border are human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and have some basic human rights.
Actions have repercussions - when the United Nations chief of human rights expresses concern, that demonstrates a lack of understanding.
This is an issue that transcends simple legal rights and policy issues and moves into our national character. With Chicago opting not to cooperate with recent ICE efforts, immigration rights issues are no longer an abstract issue. This is no longer about discussing hypotheticals but dealing with real-life issues that impact our community.
Raks Geek is reinforcing their stance on inclusion, community-building, and compassion. I was proud to be part of their efforts last year, even if it was through blogging; I am just as proud to support their efforts this year. Art can be a powerful way to express "resistance", and I am more than happy to assist in local charitable efforts.
(Note - Raks Geek has also found some donors to match what they raise; if you or your organization are interested in helping, contact me by email and I will forward your note to Dawn.)
Tickets are available via http://raksgeek.com/magic
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