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Viewpoint: A month for immigrants

Editor's note: This is a reader viewpoint.

It's recently become popular in some circles to look back fondly on the America of 1940 or 50, to claim that those were the good old days when our country was really on track with her values and priorities.

That period being recalled with such nostalgia was a time when it seemed acceptable to treat people who were Jewish, Muslim, gay, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and often simply female with condescension and disrespect. Even a brief viewing of 1950s TV reruns will provide a raft of examples.

And our current administration, in its quest to provide fuel and a focus for our irrational fears has now taken to scapegoating immigrants.

People seeking only safety and opportunity to better themselves are being depicted as evil-intentioned invaders. Have you ever looked at your own family tree, listened to your own family stories? Many of our great-grandparents came here because they were broke and desperate. And hopeful and gutsy.

And ready to work. Our immigrant ancestors changed America. They enriched it. And immigrants still do today.

River Falls is a generous and caring community. This is shown time and again when emergencies arise.

Many American immigrants—and certainly all of those in the "caravan" making their way by foot

toward our Southwestern border—are experiencing an emergency. Our national leadership demonizes and threatens them on a daily basis now. In response, two upcoming events in RF are intended to reassure and welcome immigrants to our area:

Thursday, Nov. 22 — a Thanksgiving Community Meal ... Everyone invited! 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Bridget Church, 135 E. Division St.

Monday, Nov. 26 — a peaceful and respectful pro-immigrant candlelight vigil to put a face on our town's history of compassion. 5-6 p.m. at the intersection between Cascade Avenue and South Main Street. (Bring a candle, preferably in a mason jar.)

All are welcome, including university, business and church communities. Hope to see you there.