A Letter to the Editor from Laurie Narro: Hopes that Defaced Sign Creates Conversation

Dr. Laurie Narro

Letter to the Editor:

If you drive by my home, you’ll see a defaced lawn sign on my parkway. As I leave my driveway and return every day, I read this sign and contemplate what it means.

It makes me think about the community in which I live, and California, the state in which I was born (as was my father, his mother, and grandmother before him). I think of the U.S., a nation of immigrants and refugees, a country with a Bill of Rights that grants its citizens freedom of speech. It reminds me of my faith in others, as well as my faith in a higher being.

In April, a friend of mine and I went to the Pasadena Jewish Temple to hear Judy Chu, our congresswoman, speak about what was happening in Washington D.C. It was there that I picked up my sign. It read: “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome,” and quoted Leviticus, “We must not stand idly by.”

I placed the sign in my parkway because I had grown fearful after a number of things had occurred: the travel ban imposed by our government, ICE beginning to arrest undocumented immigrants, and DACA students becoming at risk of deportation. I planted the sign because most of the people with whom I had met had shared that the anti-immigration policies ranked among their greatest fears.

I’ve kept the sign up, on display for a number of reasons.

The defaced sign reminds me every day that there are people who are afraid there are not enough resources available for everyone to be granted human rights. There are people who fear a voice that speaks another language even if it is a language of inclusion.   There are people who are so afraid that they have lost control that the only semblance of control they can exert is to deface another person’s property.

I’ll keep the sign up and have already looked into getting some additional signs so that this message is not obscured. I hope that the sign will create conversation and dialogue that will begin to dispel fears and misinformation, and that it will signal that in South Pasadena, All are Welcome.

Laurie Narro, Ed.D.

South Pasadena Resident