I hope that you enjoy another blessed and joyful holiday season. May we continue to win the fight against Coronavirus, and may it soon begin to become memory. These months have linked us inextricably. History will remember us as the generation that answered a call, built a bridge beyond imagination, and moved humanity further down the path to our ultimate justice.
I write you as a faithful companion to celebrate how far we have come, and to encourage us forward on these hardest steps to a better world. We have finally begun to examine the relationship of the police to the people. A conversation has started, to examine the idea of restoring the forgotten communities of our country. We may live to see the day when every person can move about their reality without fear for their well being. We even got a mentally stable president out of the deal- senile, sure, but stable.
We have to keep on fighting. Our bravery has opened a door through which we can see our just destiny. We may be able to foster that peace, and all of us may be able share in our promised dignity.
We have called out these long histories of systemic violence, systemic racism, and cynical apathy. It destroyed so many lives, hearts, hopes, families, communities. The future we fight for brings a new page to our history, and I confess: to me there is nothing more terrifying than a blank page. As we continue, may we keep following those ideas that blossomed from the optimism of those hopeful and stirring spring days.
Enemies have been defeated. Some have lost their battles with history, with morality, and with sound common sense. Ending some of those ugly processes was more an exorcism than a surgery. A friend once said that some change only when it becomes too painful to stay the same.
Our country has a new president, and opportunities may seem endless, but we must be cautious. We can’t fall into the trap of looking to these ‘leaders’ to dictate what change is allowed. I hear the nudge back to harmless reasonableness, the drab unfulfillment of thinking realistically. If we are not vigilant, we could find ourselves back in the suffocating lap of the status quo, silenced by innumerable compromises. There are concrete steps forward, but a billion half steps will never get us to the wholeness that we promised to ourselves and each other.
May we all commit to our most awesome power, the nucleus and origin of these transformations: may we promise to listen. It is the hardest work and we must continue to do it. Through listening, we make ourselves vulnerable, and continue to renew our minds.
Make new communities in the tenacious promise of our shared futures. Take an anti-racist workshop, learn to teach an anti-racist workshop, keep up on your knowledge, explore avenues to challenging unjust powers.
I find it difficult to believe that we have had all the vulnerable conversations that we need to have.
Create a new world everyday. The police were the needle, but this camel is still in surgery. Some voices have become louder, some have become softer, but don’t forget that every distinct voice brings its own experience, its own perspective. This longest conversation can only lead us to freedom.
Finally, love and be gentle with each other. This journey we have embarked on leaves me winded but courageous. At times our future might be less than we wanted, but we’re well on the way to providing for all of our needs.
We build this on love. Our language must be love, and the enduring lessons must teach love. We owe it to our pasts, present, and futures.
Power To The People,
Eric Q Carter