Back then the stunt was to ship people of color from the South to the North….
The stunt is to ship people of color from the South to then North….
In the end?
The ‘stunt’ did not work as the Southerners thought it would…..
The story of the Reverse Freedom Rides assumed new meaning this week when persons seemingly associated with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised a group of Venezuelan asylum seekers that good jobs and housing, as well as expedited work permits, awaited them in Boston. The migrants were transported instead, without their knowledge, to Martha’s Vineyard, in an attempt to surprise and expose the hypocrisy of liberals who oppose the Republican Party’s hard-line immigration stance.
The ploy didn’t work out exactly as planned. Residents of the small island warmly embraced the asylum seekers, much as the citizens of Hyannis welcomed David Harris some 60 years earlier.
The two stories share some similar characteristics. In both cases, elected officials attempted to to pin their critics in a corner. In neither case did the ploy immediately succeed, though today’s story has yet to play out….
As was the case 60 years ago, last week, politicians used a group of vulnerable people to change the subject — to shift the political debate to more comfortable ground.
Are many people who reside far from the border hypocrites on the question of immigration? Probably, in some ways. Large numbers of immigrants live in blue cities and states, many of them undocumented, and the citizens who live in these places benefit from cheap labor and services. Whether in Massachusetts or Florida, undocumented residents face profound challenges and disadvantages, even as they constitute a critical part of the regional economy.
But that’s not quite the point. Neither was it the point in 1962. The Reverse Freedom Rides were not a constructive attempt to address a broad political and social problem. They were, as President Kennedy said, “a rather cheap exercise.”….