We, the undersigned, join with groups like United We DREAM and El Cambio, and people of goodwill across the United States, to call on Rockingham Commissioner James Kallam to issue an apology for his statements Monday October 8th, 2012, indicating his wish to shoot and kill immigrants' rights leader Moises Serrano.
Serrano was among other members of the regional immigrant advocacy group, El Cambio, attending the screening of a documentary on illegal immigration to express their view that the film portrayed the immigration issue unfairly.
After the film, as tensions ran high outside the theater, Kallam and Serrano were talking in a small group. At one point, according to Serrano, the commissioner, while pointing to another man, said: “That man’s only shot two people, and the law states you have to shoot three people. And I’ve only shot two people. Are you available?”
In an interview the day after, Kallam initially denied the statement but later admitted it when told that a bystander – an attorney – had confirmed hearing the conversation. Offering an explanation, Kallam said the comment was meant as a joke and he meant no harm.
We believe statements like Commissioner Kallam's are dangerous, unethical and irresponsible. Historically, threats of murder and bodily harm against people of color in our communities have indeed become a reality in the actions of white supremacist organizations. We will not tolerate such “jokes” from any of our neighbors, but especially from elected officials whom we expect to conduct themselves professionally, and to demonstrate fairness and respect for all people who live in our communities.
As United We DREAM explained, "He’s in a position of power. People should be able to go to an elected official and be comfortable enough to voice their concern, and instead he (Serrano) was basically threatened. …Why would you even go there?”
We call on Commissioner Kallam to apologize. We call on all elected officials in North Carolina, and all people of North Carolina, to engage in respectful dialogue on controversial policy issues without resorting to threats, violence, or dehumanizing "jokes."
We all deserve better.
I never expected this to happen, I have two kids who need my support, so I accepted my friend’s advice, completed a CNA program at Forsyth Tech community college Nov 2011, and then found a job . But I found that this job can barely for pay my bills and almost reached my physical limitation, I realized I have to move my education forward.I found a ABSN program at WSSU, and the counselor told me I need two more credits to meet the requirements for the application.
Last Tuesday I went to a college, , I completed an application and was told I will get a letter few weeks later that informs me whether or not it’s approved. That day later on, When I checked my email I received a letter from the admission office shows that , due to my visa problem, they can not proceed my application process unless my visa is changed. I called the the number they provided and asked them I just need two special credits and I will pay for whatever they charge me,( I went to Forsyth college several times, sometime they said they will charge me as out-of state student). they still say no.I told her I used the same documents to apply and I was accepted by this college before and already completed a CNA program, why this time I can not apply again ? she just told me the same thing: due to my expired visa ……… . I told her nothing I can do to change my visa right now, because everything happened to me just beyond my control I have already tried everything I can do to change this situation, I increased my voice and asked them is there anyway they can treat me as a refugee, I believe even refugee still have the basic human rights for education, I asked to talk to their supervisor face to face. They realized my anger and prepared, but not to help me or at least comfort me, they called the campus polices instead.
A lady leaded me into her office and told me my visa issues. I said there’s nothing that I can do right now to change my visa, but I want to do something other than just waiting. She still said no,and said I need to go back to China, if I want to apply as an international student. I asked her again if I can be considered a refugee, I have to stay here for my kids’ education. She had an attitude, gave me a hard time and tried to make me angry on purpose, because she knows the police is just waiting outside of her office and waiting for me to lose my control.I stayed at her office and asked her for several options, but non of them works. Finally , she was successfully misleading me to a wrong way and made the opportunity to let the police came in and had something to do.
And today, several days later, I asked myself: Why this happened like that? I have to go the court next month for my criminal defense, and then what is my motivation ? What kind of role the officer play in this event? she knew exactly what i want , i came to her office just want her to help me to find a way for my study, at least she should have more options as a director.
I’m writing to you because I don’t believe all the Americans are like her. American has been leading the world for many years due to its technology, science, democratic policy, and freedom for all human being. There are many intelligent people here, it’s why a lot of scientist like my late husband chose to come and live here, and it’s also the reason why my kids and I chose to stay here regardless of all the difficulties.
Thank you for reading this, I’m looking forward to receiving your reply and it will be greatly appreciated if you can give me any suggestion.