Almost half the country voted for a warmongering bigot who thinks climate change is a scam. What do we do?
I address this post to allies for two reasons. First of all, we are ALL allies to somebody. Most people have some areas of marginalization and some areas of privilege and we need team up so that we use our areas of privilege to protect the marginalized in that area. For example, I’m a Two-Spirit mixed race ovary-owner with a genetic disease, so I’m marginalized there, BUT as a Christian, I’m privileged relative to other religions. Thus I am an ally to non-Christians who are being targeted for hate because I have more ‘clout’ to call out Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism and be seen as ‘objective’.
Second, all of you cishet white able-bodied liberals, now is your time to put your money where your mouth is. I’ve seen a disturbing number of posts calling for liberals to sit in the corner and pout like spoiled children while the country burns around them. The time of being handed cookies for meeting the basic standards of human decency is over. You need to genuinely stand up for your beliefs by actively and relentlessly supporting progressive causes. I’ve seen a lot of posts about how everything is going to be okay. But for many people, Trump has explicitly promised that it will be the opposite of ‘okay’. The only way that statement is true is if we band together to unfuck our country and make it okay.
So here, in no particular order, are my humble suggestions:
1. Join the boycott. Organized by Black Lives Matter, this protest will hit corrupt politicians and corporations where it hurts—their wallets. They may not care about our lives, but they sure do care about our dollars. Sign up on the website for more information.
2. Make it awkward. A very wise person told me recently that both passive bigots and bystanders thrive on silence—they expect you to make polite chitchat and not make waves. Don’t cooperate. If someone asks you how you are, say ‘well, my Muslim friend just got attacked on her way to work by a Trump supporter, so I’m very scared for her.’ Or ‘My entire family voted to take away my rights because I’m gay. How about you?’.Use whatever applies to you. Make complacency and inaction as uncomfortable as you can.
Join an environmental organization. Not everyone has equal amounts of time, spoons, or money to contribute, but do what you can, even if that’s ‘only’ signal-boosting on social media or signing petitions. You can Google to find organizations, projects, and protests near you.
3. Recruit more allies from the ranks of the wafflers and bystanders. There’s lots of privileged folks out there who are scared to jump in, don’t have the information about why they should jump in, or have taken up a ‘look out for number one’ stance. Reach out to them, educate them, and bring them into the fray as activists.
4. Stand up to bigots. No more sitting on your hands while your coworker/relative/fellow commuter/neighbor/whoever spouts off hateful rhetoric. If you’re active on social media and are white, consider joining the White Nonsense Roundup so PoC don’t have to take the brunt of defending our right to exist. You can also send evidence of awful behavior to Racists Getting Fired and ACLU’s Hatewatch if you don’t feel safe reporting awful people yourself.
5. Join a protest. Again, not everyone has the time or spoons, or lives in an accessible location, but going to protests (and documenting them to combat right-wing rumors about ‘riots’ and ‘looting’) is important.
Add your own suggestions as well!