Time to make a statement, indeed

Op-Ed by Katy Pitcock

Around Virginia, local officials are being swept into the current of trying to “fix” the national immigration situation with hardline local action.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Virginia’s local leaders “made a statement.” The last time, the movement was called “Massive Resistance.” Then, the civil rights of African-Americans were targeted. Schools were closed, and pools were bulldozed. It was not Virginia’s finest hour.

Few leaders from that era are now proud of their actions. Thanks to the courage and leadership in the African-American community as well as allies amongst caring whites, this destructive, fear-driven approach to public policy was eventually defeated.

Why repeat a mistake? We are a community – parents, children, teachers and churches. Let the national leaders deal with national problems. A legal pathway to work authorization is a complex issue. Locally, fathers need to work to provide for their families, mothers need to care for and nurture their children, teachers need to educate, nurses need to promote health, pastors need to support spiritual growth and political leaders need to lead, not follow trends.

In each community in Virginia, we have the opportunity to be proud of our actions – this time around.

Katy Pitcock resides in Star Tannery.

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