I thought that I would eventually do a post about Trump winning the election, and then the idea that I would actually have to talk seriously about this man sickened me. And then I realized that is exactly why I need to write the post anyway.
I’m not going to proselytize. Maybe Trump will be fine. But it’s been less than a week and he’s already appointing white supremacists to key positions, and climate skeptics to lead the EPA, so I’m not terribly optimistic. But you know I’m about doing and not about talking.
We’re in a society now where it’s IMPERITIVE that you act against racism. It’s no longer enough to be against it without acting. If you are for safe spaces, if you want to wear a safety pin and mean it, then you are responsible for creating those safe spaces around yourself with action, not just with clothing.
First, here’s a Southern Poverty Law Center article on confronting racism with the people you love: https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry. Take-aways for non-confrontational people like me? Recruit allies to help you confront rampantly racist family members if necessary; it’s okay to tell them that racist language is hurting your relationship, and it’s because you love them that you want them to stop when you’re around. Leave the room when those subjects come up, or seriously ask the joke teller to explain why the joke is funny to them; indicate politely that you aren’t amused. Repeat back sentences without using racial epithets yourself (“the Mexican cashier,” becomes “the cashier,” for instance).
Second, I’ve posted a comic below drawn by Maeril (@itsmaeril) on how to confront islamophobic harassment. But it’s good for all kinds of harassment, really. Use liberally.
Third, consider what outside organizations you can support that will need help, or will be giving others help. I don’t know how to bring a lawsuit against Trump if he starts putting some of his unconstitutional practices into action. But the ACLU sure does, and they’ve already put Trump on notice that they’re watching. I’m giving $10 a month. An aunt of mine is giving a little more to Planned Parenthood this year. Several friends have invested in legitimate well-run news sites like NPR or the Washington Post. Do what you can where you see the need. Every little bit helps. And if you can’t donate money, consider donating your time.
The next two things I want to share are for others. I’m already getting a lot of crap from friends and family about the protests that are still going on. This is why protesting isn’t just people being sore losers, and why we all shouldn’t just “get over it already.” Moche Kasher says it better than I ever could:
And I want to end on this quote:
“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Reminder: we overthrew the government over 200 years ago so we would never have to stomach a shitty king again. Good luck with the acting for justice (I know I’m going to need it, for one). It’s going to be hard. But if we can even be a little bit better than we were yesterday, that’s progress in fighting the spirit of awfulness that’s attempting a coup on the country right now.