I first saw Jake’s father, Michael Ratner, speak in Massachusettes while I
was on a road trip in college; I happened across a flyer for a lawyer
speaking on consequences of the War on Terror while in Northampton for the
day, I attended & was literally wowed by his intellect, compassion & focus.
Years later I had the pleasure of meeting Jake & over the years got to
share a few conversations with his father, who was always brimming with
pride over his son’s accomplishments. His joy for Jake’s numerous talents
& outstanding character made an impression on me, in part because Michael’s
enthusiasm for his son’s work contrasted so starkly with my own experience
with my Dad & it showed me how truly beautiful (if in a slightly
jealousy-inducing way…) that bond can be.
In particular, I recall him saying how proud he was of Jake’s humility &
work ethic, sacrificing sleep for nights on end to produce fabulous videos
that deftly shared the incredible Immokalee story with the outside world.
It was a magical sparkle & smile that Jake perpetually triggered in his
father: an enchanting, sacred thing.
Much love & hope for healing to you, Jake, & the entire Ratner family; my
heart breaks to learn of Mr. Ratner’s departure from this world. His
legacy as a freedom fighter