“He shall bring forth justice to the nations, Not crying out, not shouting.”
This particular line in today’s reading resonated with me the most because I have been hyper-aware of how important this election is turning out to be for me and the community I worry about the most, immigrants. Ever since my incredible experience at the Democratic debate in December 2019, I realized how much bigger than all of us this election was and is turning out to be.
In this turbulent beginning of a decade, where all we seem to care about is coronavirus, the stock market, and the 2020 election, I think it is the best time to ground ourselves in our values and the things we ought not to lose sight of. The consumption of the news has felt cluttered and harmful to my mental health in recent weeks. Throughout my years of work with The DreamON Campaign, Aliento AZ, and other local and national organizing work, I have sort of built up a tolerance for the harms that being an ‘activist’ brings. I’ve learned when to conveniently forget that I am an immigrant in order to protect myself.
Although my emotions creep up on me, I often find myself unhealthily suppressing them in order to “be presentable for the camera” or “prevent an infliction of these negative emotions onto others to avoid pity.” While I am aware that this is wrong, I need to take in the advice I constantly encourage for others.
Taking time off and taking care of yourself is encouraged. In the halls at Loyola Marymount University, I always read a poster that says, “Self-care is NOT selfish.” And to that, I say, “Amen!” Amidst my attempts to strategize with legislators and formulate the perfect plan of advocacy, I undervalue the power of my emotions. The power of crying out and the shouting that my mind desperately needs shall no longer be suppressed.
In whatever style you feel the most comfortable with—protesting, emailing, lobbying—bring forth justice to the nations by doing your part. For you, for me, and for us.
Saúl Rascón Salazar is a first-year student at Loyola Marymount University currently studying international relations and minoring in French. Having led The DreamON Campaign at Brophy College Prep in Arizona, Saúl has years of hands-on experience in immigration advocacy and local legislative action. Saúl enjoys advocating and being a voice for those who do not feel as empowered to speak out against our unjust immigration system and the treatment of the immigrant community.