On Freedom…

4 months ago by

We chose “freedom” for July’s editorial theme at the beginning of the year (for the obvious reasons), but now, reading that word makes me sick to my stomach.

This week we celebrate our country’s freedom and independence, and yet we continuously deny that same deserved freedom to asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees.

And for those who want to stop reading, out of apprehension that their own vacations / BBQs / firework viewing might be tainted, I think it’s more imperative than ever to bear witness to what is happening.

I didn’t want to look at the photo of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his twenty-three-month-old daughter, but I forced myself to. I forced myself to confront the present realities of our country and its supposed “freedom” because, in the words of Bob Dylan, “How many years can some people exist, before they’re allowed to be free? And how many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn’t see?”

I also listened to the crying children in detention centers, and read their stories of being separated from their parents and not given so much as soap or a toothbrush for days.

But most importantly, I took action by donating to causes such as Raices, American Civil Liberties Union and United We Dream (but there are many, many more), and calling my representatives. Don’t know your representative? Input your zip code here, and then look up their phone number here. Calling is the most effective, but if, let’s say, you work in a silent zoned library, here is an online template to fill out and email to your representative. We rattle off too many emails in a day without breaking a sweat, everyone should be able to send one more of this importance.

We want DORÉ to be a reprieve from the world, a place where you can exhale, but there are certain things one should not reprieve themselves from. This is one of them.

So while I thought about changing July’s editorial theme in light of our country’s and politician’s actions, I decided instead to use it as an opportunity to discuss the fallacy of freedom in this country at the moment. We will discuss other types of freedom in the upcoming month — the joy of road trips, breaking away from a traditional family model, the freedom of consuming less, and yes, even the American summer pastime of baseball, but before all that, and before we all put up our “out of office” replies in our inbox, let’s take a moment to be grateful for our freedom, and help others obtain the same that is deserved to them.

17 comments

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  • The freedom to explore what freedom means… in all its glory and sometimes ugliness… beautiful idea. Thank you!

  • Cecilia July, 1 2019, 11:11 / Reply

    Thanks for sharing what’s really important now when speaking about freedom.

    I liked the video introduction but I would have really liked best if the image were a bit more representative of the topic being mention here, as I think one of the biggest problems with politics related to migration is the intolerance to the other for being and looking different. I appreciate the diversity displayed through the site but in this case, I think was particularly important.

    And thanks again for bringing in the conversation.

  • Angela Fong July, 1 2019, 11:59 / Reply

    I appreciate this video, imagery and the thoughts mentioned. I did not; however, appreciate the image of a woman pulling her eyes taught (at 4 seconds in). As an Asian woman, I do not appreciate this type of imagery due to the racist connotations. Please be aware and considerate of the potential effects of this type of imagery. Thank you.

  • Joanne July, 1 2019, 2:05

    I agree with Angela. Though I can’t be sure what the woman was intending to do in the original clip, I know immediately what that usually refers to and it’s pretty harmful.

  • Linne Halpern July, 1 2019, 3:22

    Hi Joanne,
    Thank you so much for speaking up in agreement with Angela’s comment. After seeing your comments, we were able to realize our mistake. This was definitely not our intent and we are so sorry to have caused harm, especially during this moment of wishing to create a dialogue around “freedom.” We have immediately edited that clip out of the video.
    Please let me know if there is anything else we can do.
    Thank you for your support and care.
    All our best,
    Linne

  • Linne Halpern July, 1 2019, 3:18

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you so much for flagging this with us and calling it out. This was definitely not our intent and we are so sorry to have caused harm, especially during this moment of wishing to create a dialogue around “freedom.” We have immediately edited that clip out of the video and hope to remedy this mistake.
    Please let me know if there is anything else I can do. We appreciate your support and care.
    All our best,
    Linne

  • Angela J Fong July, 2 2019, 9:23

    Hi Linne and Doré team,

    Thank you very much for editing the video. I sincerely appreciate the effort and acknowledgement of this error.

    Joanne, thank you for your support.

  • Jessica July, 1 2019, 12:36 / Reply

    So happy to read this Veronica.
    Well said.

  • Thank you for drawing attention to this. This is not a time when we should be silent.

  • nadine July, 1 2019, 2:57 / Reply

    Thank you for talking about immigration and what we really shouldn’t turn our heads from. Please continue speaking up.

  • Agathe Carré July, 1 2019, 4:11 / Reply

    Quelle indécence. Des migrants au ventre creux risquent leur vie pour accoster sur des rivages inamicaux, des capitaines (femmes !) de navire risquent leur carrière, et bien plus, pour sauver ces quelques vies… et vous persistez à nous montrer des décervellées qui posent, le ventre rentré, avec une tranche de pastèque en guise de diète histoire de ne pas faire outrage au sacrosaint dictat du bikini.
    Rengorgez-vous de vos heures de yoga à un smic la séance, faites-vous thérapiser par le gourou des psys américains, mais gardez cette scandaleuse décadence pour vous!

  • “La liberte commence ou l’ignorance finit.” V. Hugo.

  • Estelle July, 2 2019, 1:08 / Reply

    Merci d’en parler, j’apprecie que ce site où je viens pour apprendre, rêver, soit ancré dans la réalité politique de notre temps.

  • Carmen Rodríguez López July, 2 2019, 2:40 / Reply

    Thank you very much Veronica, this is the issue of our time and it is a matter of human rights.

  • Mamavalveeta03 July, 7 2019, 2:07 / Reply

    We must not be silent, for silence is complicity.

  • Thank you for using your platform to raise these issues. We must all be aware of what is happening in our country and try to change it with our voices and with our votes.

  • Thank you for pushing the boundaries with your editorial comments into some of my and others’ political concerns. Dore as a reprieve into a world of beauty and joyfulness is so welcomed. Occasionally a serious tone and stance is fine. My request: please everyone exercise your freedom of voice by voting in the upcoming 2020 election. Campaign for candidates who reflect your beliefs and values. Encourage your friends, families and children to participate. Namaste.

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