I’m going to say it. I want to see an end to “self-care.” Can we put a nail in self-care’s coffin and instead birth a newer discussion of community care?
As I most often hear it, self-care stands as an importation of middle-class values of leisure that’s blind to the dynamics of working class (or even family) life, inherently rejects collective responsibility for each other’s well-being, misses power dynamics in our lives, and attempts to serve as a replacement for a politics and practice of desire that could actually ignite our hearts with a fuel to work endlessly.
Days before a bus filled with undocumented people and their allies was to take off from Phoenix, Arizona, one rider was interviewed by the New York Times. The reporter asked, “Last month when I interviewed you, you wouldn’t tell me your full name. Now you will. What changed?” The rider responded, “I am no longer afraid.”
48 hours later Letty Ramirez, Miguel Guerra, Natally Cruz, and Isela Meraz, stepped off the curb outside of Sheriff Arpaio’s racial profiling trial and into the street with a banner that said, “No Papers No Fear.” They announced themselves as undocumented and unafraid of the Sheriff finally on trial. The thing that had kept them at times house-bound, and most afraid was the thought of ending up inside Arpaio’s jail. Now, the four were entering willingly as part of an act of civil disobedience and the start of what would be a six week odyssey, the No Papers No Fear Ride for Justice that will soon come to an end at the Democratic National Convention In Charlotte after Labor Day weekend.
Writing in 1979, Walter Brueggeman turned to the old and new testament to reflect on the role of a prophet in a society he observed of waning social movements and a rising cynicism. What he shares in the Prophetic Imagination is dueling imaginations, a god that takes sides, and a legacy of prophets fluent in the languages of grief and hope; criticism and alternatives; compassion and energy. For those puzzling today at how to spark a new exodus from modern day Pharaoh’s reign, the thirty year old book offers inspiration and insight.
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About the Author
B. Loewe is an organizer and communicator taught well by his parents and brought into the movement by his sister when he was a teenager.
In recent years, B has served as NDLON's Communications Director, supported the Alto Arizona work against SB 1070 and Sheriff Arpaio, and participated in the organizing of the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.
Follow B. on twitter @bstandsforb
Recent B Loewe Posts
- An End to Self Care | B. Loewe Written on Monday, 15 October 2012 19:13
- When fear is the target, Courage is the result | B Loewe Written on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 00:37
- Grief, Compassion, and Vision: Reflections on Brueggeman’s Prophetic Imagination | B Loewe Written on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 19:09