‘I believe we are entering dangerous times,” writes UUA President Peter Morales in a letter to Unitarian Universalist ministers posted on the Unitarian Universalist Association website today.
I expect that the new administration will unleash human rights abuses aimed at migrants and Muslims shortly after it takes office. In the longer term, other marginalized groups (women, the poor, people of color, transgender people, etc.) will be in danger. We are already seeing an increase in violent acts by people who see the election as validation of their hate.
Among the dangers we face is the temptation to “normalize” the situation. I pray that the incoming administration will prove to be more humane than its rhetoric and many of its most ardent supporters. I see no evidence that this is the case. None. It is irresponsible folly to act as though we are in a normal transition between administrations.
We must prepare to provide sanctuary and resist.
First, we must provide sanctuary in the broadest and richest sense of the term. We begin with offering safe places for reflection and healing for our congregants and for those coming to seek spiritual community. But these times demand more. We must provide sanctuary to those most vulnerable. In particular, migrants (primarily from Mexico and Central America) may well face mass deportation. In addition, Muslims have been targeted.
Second, we must prepare to resist human rights violations in active ways. We must make it much harder to deport, register, discriminate and despoil.
Morales goes on to describe ways the UUA and its partner organizations are shifting toward “playing defense” in its work for justice and compassion. “We will have to respond quickly to acts of the government. We will have to react rather than act. We will need to be agile and fast.”