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Day 32 of the Government Shutdown, the day after MLK

Just yesterday we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. King. Today, it feels like nothing more than a show for who America wants to be, but can't live up to. The mask always comes off. These words of Dr. King come to my mind. "If America is to remain a first-class nation, it can't have second-class citizens". The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted the Trump administration’s request to allow it to bar most transgender people from serving in the military. The administration’s policy reversed a 2016 decision by the Obama administration to open the military to transgender service members. It generally prohibits transgender people from military service but makes exceptions for those already serving openly and those willing to serve “in their biological sex.” Why does America always need a second class? Black and brown people, poor people, non-Christian people, immigrants, LGBT people, the list just goes on. And the shut down continues. People are hurting. We celebrate a civil rights icon and then we violate the civil rights of our trans service members, as if their sacrifices and service don't count.

On Day 32 of the shutdown here at Arise, we have begun collecting infant formula and other food donations, preparing for the worst. If this continues and programs like WIC and SNAP aren't funded, we can help. We are prepared and working on a campaign to protest and show our support for furloughed workers, those expected to show up for work without being paid, and for everyone affected by this government shutdown. The doors of Arise are open, the coffee is on and we are ready. Dr. King knew that protests and riots were symptoms of larger systemic problems, of an America that wasn't listening. "A riot is the language of the unheard. And what has America failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met." Join us and let your voice be heard.

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