This Advent I am sad. The world needs to begin again. The world is too broken. The problems are too great. Much like the first Advent. (When Mary was about to give birth she was in her third trimester, not celebrating Advent, of course, and it was not Advent until the Church decreed that it was, likely after it decreed Christmas happened in December). I am sad that I live in a country that is actively oppressing so many people. I am confused as to how my students, many of whom are white and from working-class or lower-middle class backgrounds, can identify so strongly with African-American music and defend the police that kill young innocent African-American boys at the same time. I am sad that the country I study, Mexico, the second country of my heart, disappears people and there is no explanation. (Other than the fact that these people were teachers, that they were working to make their part of their country a little bit different, a little bit better.) I am sad that my book is going to be applicable to the 21st century when it is about the 20th. I am angry that my case study of the Mexican State’s rise to power, and its vision of a national body that excluded so many, can still apply to today. Countries are different, their governments are different, but their governments are also the same, keeping power in the hands of a few and using brutal force to maintain that power. The world is broken. As one of my students told me yesterday “you are not political. You say what you think.” He was wrong. Saying what I think is the most political act I can take. (Of course, since this is in an employment context, I make sure to get to know my students, spend time with them in individual meetings so that they know that I will try and convince them to change their minds but that I will not fail them for disagreeing with me.) This Advent all I want is a new world. Saying, making, writing from the world’s brokenness until it’s not broken anymore.


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