The State of North Carolina is agreeing to issue driver’s licenses to immigrants who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival status, but is proposing to put pink bands on those licenses with the words “No Lawful Status.”
This offends me on multiple levels. It invites stigmatizing and racial profiling; it serves to shame the holder of the license as “less than”; it neutralizes the civic message entailed in granting the license, which is a recognition that the person is able to and invited to be a working, productive member of the society, while the red tape of citizenship is being worked out.
On the level of spirit, I am even more deeply pained. I am reminded of yellow stars and pink triangles, and of those marked for exclusion and execution because of their difference from some humanly, irrationally defined norm.
I would be wearing a pink triangle in Nazi Germany. I am a person doubly barred from certain civil rights in North Carolina because of who I love. I am in solidarity, therefore, with those young people struggling for their full existence in this state and this nation.
As a sign of that solidarity, at the urging and by the example of the Judea Reform Congregation, United Church of Chapel Hill and Iglesia Unida de Cristo, I have placed a pink stripe on my own license. I will gladly explain why to anyone who asks.
Further, I am writing to Governor Pat McCrory to express my disagreement with this proposal. I hope you will do the same. The address is below.
Governor Pat McCrory
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301