Activism

You’ve Had a Week to Mourn. Now What?

Last week, our country elected an orange spray-painted rubber tire as leader of the free world. Since that time, there have been tears, there have been protests, and – since it’s 2016 – there have been memes. But we’re only a week in, and we’ve got four more years of white nationalist fuckery, obnoxious tweets, and racist harassment.  You may already be emotionally exhausted, but it’s time to turn that raw rage into something effective. Here are four suggestions on how to keep that fire going over the next four years:

Find your local activist groups and get involved with marginalized communities. 

And remember: If you’re not a member of the community you’re supporting, take a back seat. Now is not the time to think you’re an expert in activism – especially if this is your first time dipping your toe in the direct action waters. Don’t be a passionista.

Give money to organizations that are going to fight for a better future.

  • American Civil Liberties Union
    • The ACLU saw record-breaking donations in the wake of Trump’s election – to the tune of $7.2 million. They’re going to need every penny they can get as they have promised to resist heightened immigration policies, help preserve the rights of transgender citizens, and protect Planned Parenthood. Speaking of which…
  • Planned Parenthood
    • Planned Parenthood has faced an uphill battle, even with the women’s rights-friendly Obama administration at the helm. With Republican-controlled Legislative and Executive Branches, their fight just got exponentially more difficult.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
    • The SPLC is already documenting known instances of racist, sexist, Islamophobic harassment. They’ve committed to fighting known hate groups at every turn – a task made more difficult when members of said hate groups are now being given staff positions in the White House.
  • Democratic Socialists of America
    • After a surprising loss for Hillary Clinton, it will be tempting for the DNC to hedge to centrism in an attempt to win elections. If you believe in a more progressive future for the Democratic party – one that will stand up for unions, trans rights, an end to mass incarceration, and other tentpole progressive platform issues – you should be supporting a push from the left from the DSA. If you want to take it a step further, you can join a local chapter – or start your own!

Spend your money at small businesses owned by people most affected by a Trump presidency. 

Christmas is coming up, so spend that money with the people who need it most. Buy gifts from Surly-Ramics, and visit your arts district to support local artists.

Buy your Diet Coke (or whatever your caffeine fix of choice is) from a local bodega instead of having it delivered from Amazon. Order takeout directly from restaurants instead of using apps like Grubhub (they take a cut of your money). Every time you buy something, stop to ask yourself: “Who is this purchase supporting?” If the answer isn’t “marginalized communities,” ask if there’s a better way to make your purchase.

Subscribe to – and pay for – independent journalism. 

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Featured Image by Courtney Caldwell

Courtney Caldwell

Courtney Caldwell

Courtney Caldwell is an intersectional feminist. Her talents include sweary rants, and clogging your social media with pictures of her dogs (and occasionally her begrudging cat). She's also a political nerd, whose far-left tendencies are a little out of place in the deep red Texas.

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6 Comments

  1. November 16, 2016 at 12:08 pm —

    Took a look at http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/ . I’m not sure if I’m its intended audience although it does seem to be trying to speak to people like me.
    Given I’m pretty open (or at least very used) to being insulted in the name of progress and I’m finding it a bit ridiculous (everything I do is either pointless, insulting, or a blatant attempt to not take responsibility for my own vote, that of my family, and my own complacence and/or perform ally theatre) , what do you feel makes it a useful way to deal with the spray painted rubber tire?

    • November 16, 2016 at 12:18 pm —

      You’ve precisely described its usefulness with your comment. Outlets like BGD exist to make people (usually white liberals) uncomfortable – something we need more of if we are going to keep progressives engaged in the fight against Trump. I would strongly suggest sitting with your discomfort and seeing what it is that’s causing it. In most cases, when I reflect on such things myself, I find that it is some aspect of privilege that is uncomfortable with what I’m reading.

      • November 16, 2016 at 8:43 pm —

        Valuable conversations can be uncomfortable, but I’ve noticed a lot of people on both sides have started to treat making people upset as an indicator of valuable truths (i.e. the “PC Craziness is making everyone babies” on one side and “being uncomfortable with the person screaming at you is just your privilege”.)
        I mean I could just lack introspection here, but this doesn’t feel like a “I’m being challenged for a blindness” kind or reaction. It feels like that person lashing out almost completely indiscriminately. Which I can totally understand, but isn’t really something I see as moving the conversation forward (which doesn’t have to be the goal obviously)

  2. November 16, 2016 at 6:05 pm —

    Keep pressure on the Dems so they remember those six-figure whites are the most deplorable of all?

  3. November 17, 2016 at 10:31 pm —

    I hear that lots of people are donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name so that he gets thousands of thank you letters! That’s the stuff!

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