The promised peace comes only when justice flows, like a mighty river
Christmas Day 2016
For many people, this time of year is too hectic, too busy, with too many unrealistic expectations. For me, it is a contemplative time, which affords me the chance to ruminate on the year past and to imagine the future. As someone who finds it difficult to understand any life apart from the historical stew in which it is being cooked, I am still surprised how much the presidential election is influencing me. There is an understandable desire to treat this is as just another peaceful transition in power, but from day one, this presidential campaign was anything but normal. I have never been more palpably aware of the privileges I experience because I am a straight white male than when I witnessed the fear that the election results generated among my friends and students who are immigrants, Muslims, members of minority groups, women, and/or members of the LGBT community.
I gave myself 40 days, until Dec. 19, to develop a response of opposition and resistance to Trumpism. And while my plan is not complete, I know it starts with an effort to convince the policymakers at the community college where I am a part-time instructor to provide the highest possible level of “sanctuary” protections for undocumented immigrant students. Several days ago I attended a meeting of local activists and organizations that provide services to undocumented immigrants. They described what they have been doing for years to “protect our community” and the need to ramp up their efforts even more. Two days later, I took part in a silent procession to remember the 55 homeless and formerly homeless people who died in Albuquerque over the last year. Both events reminded me that while causes of injustice, poverty, and inequality are global, national and local, we encounter the consequences in flesh and blood in the communities in which we live.
Looking ahead, I want for you what I want for me: peace, purpose, spontaneous eruptions of joy, love and support, and the courage to face whatever the new year requires.