The International Civil Rights Center & Museum denied a request this week from the Spirit of the Sit-in Movement Initiative and other organizations to screen “9500 Liberty.” The film explores a county grappling with the implementation of 287g immigration policy which allows police to act as immigration enforcement agents. For more information on the film, visit: http://www.9500liberty.com/
Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes is a staunch supporter of 287g despite widespread opposition throughout Greensboro and the county. The educational film was meant to be shown later in the summer to raise awareness about 287g and generate discussion about immigration reform locally and federally.
The International Civil Rights Center & Museum DENIED the request to screen the film on their premises, even though one of the Center’s explicit aims is to engage in educational work around modern day issues related to civil rights and social justice. Below are the three primary reasons given from the Center as to why the request was denied, highlighting the staunchly conservative nature of the Center, which appears to be primarily a money-making venture. At the bottom is a screen shot of the email from someone at Faith Action explaining to the rest of the group why they were denied by the Center. The name and some other personal information were blacked out to respect privacy.
THE REASONS GIVEN (paraphrased):
1. They don’t want to work too closely with the Spirit of the Sit-In-Movement and confuse the public’s understanding of the difference between their organizations.
2. 287g in Guilford County – they believe that this issue is too politically controversial at the local level for an organization as “young” as theirs who is concerned with the community reputation. Also, a county commissioner is on their board.
3. They aren’t confident that it will ultimately make them any money. (If they knew that 10 people would join the museum because of this event, if we would pay rent for using the space, or if people would pay admission, they might do it.)
For more information see https://www.gsoindymedia.org/node/166