A poem by a brother who is one of the over 2.3 million incarcerated people in the United States.
Likewise, we need experts in the United Methodist Church as well, but I am afraid we currently have far too many that demand far too much support. In other words, the UMC is top-heavy and there just simply is not the need for so many “experts;” certainly not so many whose only vocation is to be “experts.”
They are publicly announcing that they are expecting to expand, not reduce, mass incarceration. No interpretation needed. With about 2.5 million people behind behind bars in an era with near historic low crime rates nationally (and most cities still, contrary to alternative facts), this administration signals the intent to put more people behind bars.
Still there remains one last first-week presidential priority that embodies the potentially devastating arrogance and anger of this administration and its Congress. This should be a line in the sand, a red line never to be crossed in this nation: a presidential decree that specifically silences many federal scientists from publication of their research.
While those who care about immigrants and refugees deal with the fallout of the Muslim Ban 2.0, the second attempt by the trump administration to ban Muslim refugees once again gets sold to the American public under the very thin veil of “keeping the country safe.” But to really understand what this is about let’s meet donald trump’s racist all-star team of anti-immigrant strategic counsel.
On Tuesday night trump showed how weak he is as a leader and how weak we are as a nation. A nation that must force it’s will onto others in order to find security and pride is perilously fragile. Nationalism shows a moral and spiritual bankruptcy that will never be filled no matter or how triumphalistic we might become.
According to Vice News “between 9/11 and June of 2015, white supremacists and right-wing extremists killed nearly twice as many people (48) on American soil as radical Muslims did (26).” But where is the demand to step up enforcement against white supremacists?
This notion that people cannot change is not only small-minded and cruel, but also flatly false. People do indeed change, and it is in the human-ness of the way we change that we need to remember hope in times such as today. We must keep working to change hearts and minds, and to subvert racism, xenophobic ethnocentrism, imperialism, nationalism, warmongering, and bigotry.
Though the church began as an egalitarian revolution we now have transformed an organic and dynamic movement into a corporately structured morass of selfish political games, which is utterly bereft of transformative power. We are supposed to be salt and light to the world; a living example of a complete transvaluation of all that the world holds dear. But our vertical hierarchies just show us to be just another corporation, though terribly ineffective and growing more and more bankrupt by the day.
During college I started a group of us going into the city to hang out with homeless families. Weekly we would hit the streets and spend time with our newfound friends. After a while we started going down with nothing but ourselves and we would sleep on the streets. We did this to alleviate power dynamics, and God said don’t worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about itself, so we tested God on this…God was right… God took care of us.
There is a General Strike called for on February 17th, 2017. It is time for universal solidarity and resistance to tangible and blatant injustices that are mounting every day during this worsening political and social climate in the United States. Bigotry is being codified by politicians and economic warfare is being waged by the wealthy with the conservative government’s full backing.