Eighty people stand in a circle outside a church in Northport. Arms crossed, hands clasped. Latino, black, white. Invited to share their vision for a beautiful Alabama, voices ring out. Dignity, dignidad. Life without fear, vivir sin miedo. Peace, paz. Strength to stay in the struggle, fuerza para permanecer en la lucha. Faith, fé. Repeal of HB 56, derogación de la HB 56. No more tearing families apart, no más familias destrozadas. A multicultural, multilingual Alabama, un Alabama multicultural y multilingüe. The ability to lead our people, el conocimiento para liderar a nuestro pueblo. Courage, valor.
People who are daily labeled illegal are now labeled Leaders.
People who’ve been told it’s time to leave now know it’s time to lead.
People who’ve been told to move now know it’s time for a movement.
Men in work shirts, university professors, mothers and grandmothers, college students, civil rights icons, teenagers and children, all calling out their vision for a beautiful Alabama. In a moment of quiet, a latina child calls out, Roll Tide! Everyone laughs, but I think we all feel the painful irony. That’s just how deeply rooted in Alabama our immigrant neighbors are, and yet the intent of Alabama’s new immigration law is to force them to leave or to live here in fear.
Roll Tide? Oh yes, the tide is turning in Alabama, and it will not be turned back. We are One family, One Alabama. Brown, black and white, in Alabama, of all places. HB56 is bringing us together. It’s a miracle. Thanks be to God. Gracias a Dios.