Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I write this special note of Thanksgiving to each of you well aware of the irony of a holiday predicated upon events that never happened and at a time when our native brothers and sisters continue to be betrayed by us at Standing Rock and throughout our system of Mass Incarceration.
It’s also two weeks since a divided election that once again laid bare the economic, environmental, and racial injustice which has plagued this nation since its founding.
At times like this, we must dare to dream that another world is, in fact possible. Each and every one of us can make a difference for all those on the margins of our society who are fearful right now because their color, creed, and immigration status seem unwelcome. We must find a way to join our hands and hearts together to counter bigotry with hospitality and fear with love.
My life and work consistently remind me that shared purpose and common endeavor are the answer when fear breeds hate. Our common humanity calls to wake-up and respond to the sense of despondency so many of our fellow citizens feel no matter how they voted. We must remember that no society can thrive when so many folks feel isolated when they can’t seem to work hard enough to get ahead, or when they are scapegoated for the very real failings of our broken political system.
Our nation and our world may feel divided this Holiday Season. We may rue extended-family meals together. We may rightfully worry about what the next four years have in store. But when we come together across the borders of culture, faith, and economic circumstance that so often divide us, another world is possible.
For our children, our grandchildren, our brothers & sisters around the globe, that’s a world still worth fighting for.
On behalf of all of them, and the entire IPM Family, best wishes for a joyful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Joseph F. Cistone
Cleveland, OH, USA