A Call for Action, and Hope

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Discussion

  1. 01. Ruth

    Q. “What are you planning to do to fight? To get involved? To stand up? Because I need guidance about specific goals to set, activities to pursue.”

    Thank you for this post, Colette. Step one for me is to educate myself. I’m reading all that I can so that soon I can act with focus.

    This is an unbelievably hard time for all of us. I especially feel for you parents. Stresses and fears are colliding. Within 40 hours of casting my vote and hearing the subsequent bad news, I had upset two people–both of whom I largely agree with–all because of my impassioned words weren’t fully thought out. According to many of the activists I follow on Twitter, I (a white woman) am the cause of DT’s victory. I read essays and tweets from people of color without commenting (of course, it’s time to listen), only to go on to mistakenly lash out at allies.

    This morning I saw that Rob Spillman stated he’d register as a Muslim in solidarity when/if DT goes that far. I imagined doing that and added it to my list of research topics. I considered wearing a safety pin. Then I returned to Twitter I saw that a writer whom I greatly admire was shredding the safety pin trend. She tweeted, “You are not a ‘safe’ person just because you wear a #safetypin. This is nothing but a project to alleviate white guilt. Get up and do work.” So I scratched that idea.

    I never anticipated that a T-presidency would mean we would be the ones building the walls between each other.

  2. 02. colette

    I’m having similar experiences regarding walls going up between me and people I consider friends, and it’s painful and exhausting. And I don’t know what to do about except write what I can, reach out to people who want to hear me, and find ways to work toward tearing down the intolerance that this new president embodies and espouses.

  3. 03. colette

    Here are some great suggestions for proactive things we can do as writers: https://electricliterature.com/lets-get-to-work-practical-ways-for-writers-and-teachers-to-get-involved-right-now-79d6d6b9af29#.l6k5hjr0g

  4. 04. colette

    Here are some other suggestions from my brilliant friend Howard Fischer:

    “SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION.

    I’m almost done mourning. Now it is time to act.

    Oh, and if you think we should give “our President” the opportunity to “heal” our nation and come together as one people, FUCK THAT. And not just because no one gave Obama that opportunity. Or Clinton. Trump and Pence have made clear their dark vision for America, and we better hit the ground running if we want to hold back the tide of evil. If Trump wants to enact criminal justice reform, or start a huge infrastructure program, great, but let’s not kid ourselves about what the plan is.

    In addition to political organizing, we need to “build a wall” to protect those most vulnerable to the new regime. That includes immigrants. Two organizations that are doing a great job are HIAS, at Hias.org, and the International Rescue Committee, IRC.org. We have been working with both to help resettled Syrian refugees. Faith communities should reach out – I am amazed and impressed with the job that NJ mosques, shuls, and churches have done in interfaith efforts in this regard. (PM me for details if you want).

    We need to protect reproductive rights. Reach out to Plannedparenthood.org and Naral.org to see what you can do – at the least, give money.

    We need to gird ourselves for the assault on civil liberties. Give money to the ACLU at ACLU.org, and get involved with their efforts. As well as LQBTQ organizations.

    If you are a lawyer, reach out to local legal services or legal aid for pro bono work that you can do. We are sure to see an assault on funding for legal services for the poor.

    Give to your local food pantries.

    And start getting involved in your local Democratic party. That means going to a LOT of meetings, and making time to ensure that the party focuses not only on fighting back, but also on grooming the leaders for the next generation.

    Roll up your sleeves. Let’s go.”


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