Moving Forward

A post-election reflection from Kitty and Rick

Dear Stony Point Center Family,

We awoke on Wednesday devastated by the news of the election, as we are sure many of you did. It feels important to share our first thoughts as you all try to carry on your normal tasks this morning. These reflections are necessarily incomplete; meant to let you know we love you and miss you in this moment, and to set a tone for our conversation for many days and weeks to come.

First, we were grateful for Rabia’s words, which came by text first thing, providing us deep comfort. She wrote:

"Dear ones, we have a catastrophe on our hands, but we have each other. Hold tight. Let us pray."

It is simple buy so important to remember: We have one another. The values of our community are solid and we can turn to one another in moments like these.

Second, it is important to remember that although there is a strong core of Trump supporters who buy into his rhetoric -- which is clearly anti-woman, anti-people of color, anti-earth, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim (in other words, anti- all people who are different from him) -- he could never have won this election based solely on those values. Many people (some of whom we know personally) voted for Trump, or couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Clinton, because they are exhausted by politics as usual. They are the people who have been the losers in the global economy of free trade and status quo that always favors those in power. They have been left out of any kind of economic recovery. Bernie Sanders understood this sector of our society in a way that the power base of the Democratic party has refused to grapple with. As we go through the day today, in the midst of our mourning, let’s remember that there are people among us in our town and at Stony Point Center who have felt this very deeply.

Finally, to us it seems that our work as a community is far clearer today than it was yesterday, and far more important. Had Clinton won, the organizing challenge would have been overwhelming. With her loss, the focus becomes much clearer. We stand for love, for deconstructing borders and barriers of separation, for lifting up those who have been historically marginalized and beaten down, who will be at far greater risk than ever before in a Trump administration. They include all of us who depend on the earth for whom climate change is an existential threat. In our community, we are deeply aware that they include our Muslim sisters and brothers and people of color who are at risk every day because of the color of their skin. They include the people of Standing Rock and those who are undocumented. They include people who are queer and women. They include people who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. They include our kids and all those in the next generation for whom the election of Donald Trump was unimaginable.

So, today we hold onto one another and we grieve with one another. Tomorrow we come together, as Aude posted on her Facebook page this morning, and we lay out the agenda that will protect the most vulnerable and establish the value system we know that God longs for in our country – one of inclusion, mutual respect, opportunity and genuine security for every person, and an earth restored.

We love you. Remember to breathe. These are the moments that remind us of why we do what we do at Stony Point Center, and why the witness of the Community of Living Traditions is so critically important in our world today.

Kitty and Rick

"Every Day is Ashura, Every Land is Karbala"

A reflection by Amirah AbuLughod, CLT Muslim Cohort

 

The story of Imam Hussain (peace and blessings be upon him) is a story of a faithful few who stood on the ground of Karbala. They stood in opposition to leadership and power structures of tyranny. They stood and fought first with their prayers, then with their words, and lastly with their lives for an ummah (community) that puts human dignity before power and ego.

 

My heart is heavy in these ten days of sadness — but the sadness I feel isn’t only for the tragedy of Ashura. What burdens my soul are the stories of Ashura right before our eyes today.

 

The land of Karbala is related to the lands of Native peoples who have been fighting with their prayers, their words, and their lives for human dignity.

 

I see the land of Karbala and the stance for justice and human dignity in the fields of farmworkers, who are being denied human dignity because of structures of power set in place to benefit a select few in material gain.

 

I see the land of Karbala, in the life lived by refugees of war torn, occupied, and decimated land from Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia… and too many more.

 

I see the story of Ashura in every marginalized community praying, speaking up, and fighting with their lives for justice and human dignity.

 

This Ashura my prayers begin with tears of humble recognition that the fight for justice and human dignity that Imam Hussain embodied are still being fought for today. My prayer is to live out the actions of Ashura — actions of forgiveness — and to choose good over evil. My prayer is for the strength to embody patience and perseverance, and to couple faith and action in all that we do. My prayer is that our community hears the depth and strength of the story of Ashura, the call to work for justice and human dignity. Let us stand up, dry our eyes of sadness and feel empowered to put faith into action.