Friday, November 25, 2016

What I'll Be Doing Over the Next Four Years

Here's what I'm doing in response to the Trump Presidency, and finding out that at least half of the citizens in my country:
  1. First and foremost, I'm thinking about people that will be most at risk for harm during the Trump Presidency and Republican domination of Congress. I've compiled a list of resources to help people who will be losing their health care insurance and lose access to Planned Parenthood services, to help those whose schools will be under renewed pressure to downplay science in public school classrooms (saying that climate change isn't real, for instance), to counter police targeting of Black Americans, to help LBGTQ people regarding fears for marriage, parental and adoption rights, etc. I'll be relying on this list as I seek ways to help others and to counter attempts at civil rights roll backs. I will be vigilant in seeking stories of people in harm's way, and I will both publicize them and respond to them within my abilities. I will continue to financially support Planned Parenthood and my local National Public Radio affiliate, and I will be adding a third organization: Media Matters.
  2. I live in a blue state. I've written my Congressional Representative and my two Senators, saying what I expect them to do over the next two-four years. They will be sorely tempted to water down stances, to appease. It's vital that every sensible person in blue states write their Congress members and re-affirm the reasons we elected them.
  3. I will become involved in local politics. I have been accepted on my city's citizens advisory committee, and I will attend at least 11 of the 12 meetings in 2017. I will attend at least half of the city council's monthly meetings, and I will actively promote what they say and do via social media - something they don't do. I will be on the lookout for attempts by citizens or representatives to reject science, to downplay climate change, to discount or ignore ethnic minorities, to brand all Muslims as terrorists, to deride LBGTQ people, and to ignore sexism or racism.
  4. I have signed up for the email list of every one of my national and state legislators, and follow them on every social media account they have (sadly, some have none). I will comment on what they are doing and saying, for better or worse. I will attend their local meetings with constituents and I will publicize them to like-minded people so that even more of us attend.
  5. I am looking for how my profession is responding to the election, because it does affect our work, and I am looking for ways to respond as a part of my profession. I don't have a union - if you do, you need to look at what leadership is saying, and start pressuring them regarding responding to demagoguery, misogyny, racism and nativism (which is BAD for labor and BAD for business and BAD for our country). If Gregg Popovich and others can do it using their NBA platform, so can I.
  6. I will not appease. I will not meet racists "half way". I will not comprimise with those who abuse and demean women. I will not put being polite and peaceful over speaking out about human rights, racism, freedom of the press, people's right to affordable health care, etc. I won't sit silently as some deplorable person says, "I'm not a racist. I don't hate women. I just wanted change." I will remind them that the policies that got the loudest, wildest cheers at Trump's rallies were never about jobs - they were about how fat or ugly a woman was, or that immigrants are terrorists or rapists or drug dealers. Every time Trump says yet another insulting thing about non-USA citizens or Muslims, every time he promotes another anti-science myth, like that vaccines cause autism, every time he and Congress work to eliminate someone's hard-fought rights or health care access, I will remind them that this is the man they voted for, this is who they stand with, and if they don't, then they have to say so, publicly, for me to believe them. And if I have to stand up and leave a meal or a meeting, if I have to ask someone to leave my house, if I have to end a relationship, so be it, because to stay silent or to stay in that person's company would mean, even just to me, that I am giving approval to racism, sexism, nativism or any other form of hate. No regrets.
  7. I will not patronize anyone or downplay the stark seriousness of this situation by saying that "we all need to pull together" or "everything will be fine" or "choose hope!" Those are such insulting things to say to anyone feeling the depth of this situation right now. Such comments come from a place of privilege, from people who are either in denial about what's coming or who won't be deeply affected by such. Such comments are hurtful rather than helpful.
  8. I will continue to financially support my local NPR affiliate and to listen to it and international outlets, like BBC News, the English language version of Deutsche Welle, and the English language version of Al Jazeera, as well as watching PBS News Hours, in order to continue to have access to complete news that is not beholden to advertisers. I will not watch CNN news nor CBS News, as I used to, as they have shown an incredible lack of backbone in asking hard questions and in noting clearly and quickly when Donald Trump lies.
  9. I will let local TV stations and newspapers, national TV and radio and newspapers and appropriate nonprofits know about incidents of discrimination, bigotry, violence, harm, censorship or misinformation that I think can be traced to the agenda of Trump supporters. I will also write them and their advertisers when they appease the Trump administration or Republican-dominated Congress, when they do not ask tough questions, when they ignore their actions that harm people.
  10. I will not listen to people who say, "Stop whining!" Anyone in this country has every right to complain. Politics isn't the same as a football game, where nothing really changes after the game except stats on the web and banners in a hall and who gets a trophy. It's particularly ironic that these calls to stop complaining and fall in line behind the incoming President are coming from the South, which still pretends it didn't lose the Civil War and that the war wasn't over slavery.
  11. I will not listen to people who mock my activism. They are beneath contempt. 

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