On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, a move he says is part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations.
According to reports, roughly 50 Venezuelan migrants arrived on the island late afternoon unannounced, forcing local officials into a scramble to find accommodations for the migrants. Some migrants have told reporters they were lured into boarding the plane by a woman identified as “Perla” who told them they were going to Boston for expedited work papers.
State representatives quickly jumped into action to give the migrants support and aid as well as some sense of comfort.
“Our island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the healthcare and support they need,” tweeted State Rep. Dylan Fernandes. “We are a community that comes together to support immigrants.”
According to the Boston Globe, emergency officials will meet Thursday morning to discuss next steps Venezuelan immigrants.
DeSantis isn’t the first Republican Governor to send immigrants from Republican-run states to Democratic ones. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bussed immigrants to Washington D.C., New York, and Chicago. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has also bussed immigrants to Washington.
These are no doubt political chess moves, but some folks believe that regardless of politics it’s fundamentally racist and echos segregationist tactics of the past.
“This is deeply disgusting,” State Sen. Julian Cyr told MV Times. “This is a cruel ruse that manipulates families that are seeking a better life.” He also mentioned that segregationists have used these “fundamentally racist tactics” in the past.
Have you ever heard of the Reverse Freedom Rides?
During the Civil Rights movement activists known as the Freedom Riders participated in bus trips throughout the south, which they called freedom rides. The trips were to protest segregated bus terminals, but the Freedom Riders often tried to use whites-only lunch counters and restrooms throughout the south. The group was vilified by southerners hoping to keep communities segregated. Freedom Riders were met with horrific violence from white protestors and police. Segregationists believed the Freedom Riders were nothing more than provocateurs and they concocted a plan to trick Black families into moving north. These were known as the Reverse Freedom Rides.
A group called Citizens’ Councils created an elaborate advertising scheme aimed to get Black families to accept bus tickets to the north purchased by the organization. They used flyers and radio commercials to target single mothers and Black men entangled in the justice system. Based on lies like a good job, good housing, and a presidential welcome, Black families hopped on the busses provided by Citizens’ Councils and thought they were headed to a better life. But when they arrived, no better life, and no presidential greeting. Roughly 200 Black people were tricked into moving to the north in a racist game of political chess.
Although the decades change, the game seems to stay the same. What makes DeSantis’ political stunt any different than the Reverse Freedom Riders? Using Black and brown people to get back at liberal elites is diabolical, evil genius, and yes, racist.
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