Today heartache lingers and indifference wounds us.
Today we are deprived of our humanity and terrified of our future.
Today we breathe fear and hope is broken.
Today weapons are abundant but empathy is absent.
Today we observe a moment of silence for the dead in the deserts, seas, and rivers of the world’s borders, the genocides of capitalism, racial segregation, the Pacha Mama massacre, the loss of values, the attacks on our communities, including those here in the Bay Area, the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia and Boulder, Colorado, among many others.
Stop sexism! Stop homophobia!
Stop this capitalist and colonialist system!
Stop hatred and violence in all its expressions!
This is the time to change. What is the world that we want to leave for the next generation? A world asleep and trained to fulfill the interests of a few? A society that spits on itself? A humanity that preys on life and dignity in all expressions?
We call for a collective re-learning of how to question authority. We call for a commitment to looking at the established way with curiosity and a critical eye. We ask ourselves: where have I learned my relationship with power? What privileges do I have to use to free my brothers and sisters? What lack of privilege calls me to organize with my sisters and brothers? What prejudices dominate my relationships with life?
It’s true that these are moments when even the air hurts to breathe. But they are also moments of hope, of struggle, of organization. We call for respect for all women, for a world that honors our differences, our resistance. We call for love, rebellious and furious. We are a resilient community and today we turn to the strength that keeps us going: the magic of seeing each other! The courage to consciously ask ourselves “What do I need to unlearn? How can I raise my voice?”
What we expect from allies
- To always question the relations of power and privilege and their impact on society.
- To awaken their curiosity. To be more informed about what is happening around them, including in different communities and in distant parts of the world.
- To maintain the curiosity to go further and always ask ourselves “What’s going on?” “How can I contribute what I have?”
- To wake up and dare to look and listen, even if it is uncomfortable and painful to do so.
- To never let go of our hands and continue collaborating with us as a community
In a speech addressing the Atlanta attack on the AAPI community, Biden expressed that silence is complicity. Silence kills and inaction contributes. All of us must ask ourselves: “what must I do?”
Weeks ago Jesús Vargas, a fisherman in Laredo, Texas used his fishing pole to save a boy who was drowning in the Rio Grande before the indifferent gaze of immigration officials. This person used the tool that he had in his hands to help a human being. The immigration patrols chose to look away, and despite all their power, did not intervene. Señor Vargas’ simple act, rescued a creature. And you? What is your fishing rod that you have at your disposal to make a difference? How will you refuse to look away?
With love and hope,
These quotes are some of the reflections from Prospera staff that came out of our discussions about the recent attacks on Asian Americans and how we are seeing these and other acts of violence.
“Seeing everything that is happening right now makes me think about my daughters, about the new generations, and I am too worried about the world that we are going to leave them. For these generations and future generations I feel that I cannot give up, that it is on each one of us to fight so that what we are experiencing is not the reality of the future and that all of us who have our eyes open and our conscience have the responsibility to keep fighting to make change.”
“When I hear that in this pandemic we women have regressed 25 years in our rights, when I see that in my country, Chile, they still continue to torture, disappear people, rape or gouge their eyes out with the same impunity as during the dictatorship times, I say: Enough! But I see feminist movements and the community of my country united taking to the streets for their rights, I see communities of color leading in the cooperative movement, immigrants who do not give up for their right to a decent life, and I breathe again. I can see the glass half full, I can see that all our struggle to change things is worth it and that we must not give up until dignity becomes customary! ”
“For me, the importance of recovering values and transmitting them to future generations is fundamental. My mother did not have a formal education, nor the opportunity to have a relationship with other cultures, nor the ability to travel and learn about other realities, but she did transmit to me the values of respect and love for others. And for me, it’s that simple. Right now I am overwhelmed by anger and sadness, and thinking that there is so much to do. Too much. But I have to stop, breathe, and ask myself: what can I do? How can I take action in my own environment? How can I keep working to transform things?”
“I come from the kind of community where I am afraid to go to the bathroom of a restaurant because if it is very beautiful, they will treat me badly. I am terrified to visit some places in case I might be treated badly or differently, so I prefer not to enter. But at the same time, my journey is making me open my eyes and I am realizing that this is not normal like I had been led to believe. At this moment, I feel privileged to be realizing that it is not normal, and that it should not be so! I think it is everyone’s job to talk about things as they are, to keep talking, and to name things for what they are. It is racism, it is abuse, it is patriarchy.”
I am afraid of the section of the population that seems to have lost the capacity for empathy. I think it starts with empathy for yourself. In some way, the capitalist and colonialist system has dehumanized us all. It has made us all either owner of capital, consumer, or part of the machine that makes it go. I want to be able to unite more of those people who seem to have lost their empathy, in pursuit of a more realistic, more collective consciousness, so that we can continue to change the world together. ”
“Talking about this is very strong and painful, but it is very important to come together as a community to talk and listen to each other. Talking is medicine. Listening is healing. We must denounce fears so that they do not paralyze and isolate us. Prospera’s statement against racism, xenophobia, machismo, sexism, etc. it is a collective voice. We seek a healing that awakens our curiosity to discover what roles we can play in the change we want to see in the world. We don’t want to look away. We want to stay awake, even though sometimes being awake is painful.”
RESOURCES: Suggested articles and videos:
Noam Chomsky on The Left, Class, Racism, Xenophobia and the Right (6/8)
‘Silence is complicity’: Biden and Harris offer solace to Asian Americans amid surge in violence
White supremacy and the problem with centering donors’ interests and emotions
Como Arrebaté los derechos que la vida me negó. Eufrosino Cruz Mendoza. TEDxCuahtémoc