Celebrating Rand Paul's Birthday with a white paper delivery

Marlu Abarca on January 08, 2016
GUI Volunteer Marlu Abarca celebrated Rand Paul's Birthday with him and delivered the AFSC white paper The Role of For-Profit Prison Corporations In Shaping U.S. Immigrant Detention & Deportation Policies.

“Tonight, folks, let’s not be conservative.” A crowd at Buzzard Billy’s laughed with a staff member as everyone headed over to buy food and drinks at Rand Paul’s birthday party in downtown Des Moines.

I arrived at the event with a report on the 34,000 immigrant detention mandate for Senator Paul and was excited to give him the report, hoping it would inspire him to bring more attention to the topic of mass incarceration and for-profit detention centers to this presidential election cycle.

Senator Rand Paul has recently spoken out about the state of mass incarceration in the country, referring to it as the “New Jim Crow,” making him stand out from both parties that are governing under the influence.

After his short speech, I approached the Senator and asked him for a picture. He entertained my request and posed for a picture, but oddly rejected my handshake.

I thanked him for his work to bring awareness to mass incarceration and told him that as a birthday present, I had brought him some more information on the 34,000 immigrant detention mandate in the US. He did not seem happy about the present. He took the report, and as he tossed it aside, he informed me that he could not hear me and dismissed my comment.

The change in his expression was caught on video—it was very clear that he did not want to talk business on his birthday. What confuses me, however, was that he was so quick to dismiss me, a potential supporter.

I joked that he probably took note of the color of my skin and thought, “person of color—she can’t possibly be supporting me, what’s she up to?”

To which I would have replied: I’m raising awareness to prevent our leaders from Governing Under the Influence.

Buzzard Billy's
615 3rd St #4
Des Moines, IA
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