Reflections after the terror attack in El Paso by Mandi Rice

Dear sanctuary volunteer community,

Our hearts are breaking together over the news out of El Paso. As most of you know, a white supremacist traveled hundreds of miles to commit a terrorist attack on Latinx families there.* Since Saturday night I have been thinking often about Sofia and her extended family; our consultants; and many other Latinx people and immigrants across the U.S. who are reacting to this violence. I have been thinking about all of you. This violence is particularly disturbing alongside other mass shootings in Dayton and in Gilroy. Perhaps you are feeling similar to me: anger, fear, exhaustion, heartbreak.

When this pain hits us deeply, our bodies can even forget to eat and drink. Please care for your body. One of the contemporary theologians I respect reminds us, “Listen to your body. Is it hurting? Shaking? Breath deeply. Go for a walk. Meditate. Write. Journal. Color. Paint. Cry. Pray. Soothe yourself with non-harmful coping mechanisms. Reach to folk if you’re alone and that’s hard for you.” Please provide sanctuary for yourself, and seek it with others. Before I sleep, I have been visualizing creating a four-posted space of sanctuary to surround me when I sleep, much like the sukkah we built together last fall.

Most all of us are white allies, and I do want to be explicit with you all: Your Latinx friends, family members, co-workers, fellow parishioners, and fellow Bostonians are almost certainly on edge. Yes, even here in Boston. If you have not already done so, please call them. Check in. Ask how they are feeling and quietly listen. Bring soup if you can. Pray together that God will bind us more closely to one another in love and offer us the wisdom to care for one another in our pain. Pray for their concerns, whatever they are. Learn.

To give you a sense of the scope of this pain, I want to share with you how people have responded to the question, “Latinxs: how do you feel in public right now? What do you think about? Is there anything you’ve visibly or verbally changed, and if so, why?” Here is a small selection, from people all around the U.S. There are hundreds more replies if you click this link.

Please hold all of these folks in your prayers. May they live in peace with their families and communities

I will be praying in repentance, that I may turn around from any actions and inactions that contribute to this violence. May we who are white allies find the courage to co-create a more just and less violent world. Prayer & action.

I would love to hear what you are praying for, what your hopes and concerns are.

…. and as I send this, it seems like there is another shooting happening at the USA Today headquarters in Virginia. As much as white supremacy and racism and misogyny cause violence, so too does the availability of assault rifles. May God help us turn our swords into plowshares.

Con cariño / with deep care,

Mandi

* Latinx (rather than Latina or Latino) in a gender-neutral way to talk about all Latino/as in one word. Glad to talk about that more with anyone who wants to learn.

 

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