“Now power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change…. There is nothing wrong with power if power is used correctly…What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” (Martin Luther King Jr. Final SCLC Presidential Address)
I have stood before the Circuit Clerk and demanded justice for my immigrant friends who wanted to get married in the church and he refused, even though MS state laws require that he grant them a license. I have stood before the Highway Patrol Public Safety officials and demanded that justice be served because they are refusing to issue Drivers Li-censes to legally present immigrants when Ms State law requires them to.
I have stood with my immigrant sister as we demanded just pay from her employer who fired her when she refused to give sexual favors. I have accompanied immigrant children and their parents to schools when they have been denied access to education even though the Supreme Court has decided that we must not penalize children because of their immigration status.
I have journeyed with so many who have come to us for help when the community has left them powerless. I have seen the evil of power without love and the weariness of love without power. For 20 years I have advocated for my Hispanic/Latino friends and together we have fought many battles…we have seen victories and defeats.
As long as injustice continues to take away the power of my brothers and sisters, I shall continue the journey and the fight…correcting everything that stands against love. When love, justice and mercy are our incentives and our agenda, we shall overcome.
In this season of Thanksgiving…I am thankful for all who continue to demand justice and seek to create a world where power and love exist in unison. I am grateful for encouraging signs of human concerns that move away from self and migrate towards others. Yes…I am even hopeful that strangers will become friends, immigrants will be understood as equals and anger will melt into kindness. I am thankful for all of my companions on this journey who offer encouragement and support for the staff and volunteers of El Pueblo.
Peace, Joy and Justice