Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Read About the History (Yes, History) of Accusing Protestors of Being What Some Now Call “Crisis Actors”

This OTYCD post first appeared in May 2018.

 

Read a February 2018 New York Times piece on the history–yes, the history–of accusing protestors and activists of being what some people now call “crisis actors.”

 

A particularly gross, but damnably inevitable, aspect of the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, was the claim by some that the eloquent young survivors were “crisis actors.”

 

Their accusers weren’t talking about actual crisis actors, who are people hired to play victims and survivors during realistic disaster drills. They were implying that the MSD students, who emerged from their trauma as pissed-off gun safety activists, were paid by some shadowy cabal that’s bent on destroying the Second Amendment.

 

Here’s the thing–while the term has changed, the concept behind the “crisis actor” has not. In a February 2018 piece for the New York Times, writer Niraj Chokshi shows it goes as least as far back as the years following the Civil War. Back then, black “outside agitators” were blamed for allegedly exaggerating their testimonies of the violence and discrimination they suffered, both from the Ku Klux Klan and in general.

 

In the 20th century, the nine children who bravely volunteered to integrate the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, were accused of being paid for their trouble.

 

The piece does not discuss why some people are so determined to push the myth that people who step up and do and say difficult things have to be getting paid to do it. (That would be an interesting and worthy follow-up.) Regardless, it’s worth your time.

 

 

Read the New York Times piece on the history of the “crisis actor” accusation:

 

 

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Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections

GOOD UPDATE! Support Conor Lamb’s Run for a Pennsylvania House Seat in a March 2018 Special Election (Another Good Update March 2019)

Update, March 24, 2019: Lamb was up for re-election with the newly redrawn state of Pennsylvania electoral map in 2018. He ran in the 17th District, against fellow incumbent Republican Keith Loftus. Lamb defeated him with 56.3 percent of the vote to Loftus’s 43.7 percent.

 

Lamb is due up again in 2020. Please consider him for your next Core Four.

 

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

 

Update March 24, 2018: This was a nail-biter. Lamb had a slight but clear lead of 627 votes by the end of the night on March 13, 2018–a margin that was smaller than half a percentage point, and smaller than the number of votes cast for the Libertarian candidate. A recount begun on Friday, March 16 increased Lamb’s lead slightly, nudging it past 800 votes.

 

Republican opponent Rick Saccone called Lamb to concede the election on March 21. Lamb will lead Pennsylvania’s 18th District until November, when new electoral maps, designed to combat the effects of pro-Republican gerrymandering, go into effect. Lamb will run in the 17th District, and Saccone will run in the 14th District.

 

Read a Washington Post story about the conclusion of the Pennsylvania special election:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2018/03/21/republican-rick-saccone-concedes-defeat-to-conor-lamb-in-pennsylvania-special-election/?utm_term=.fab09594cdc3

 

Original text of the post follows:

 

Support Democrat Conor Lamb’s run for the open house seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th district. The special election takes place on March 13, 2018.

 

Lamb, 33, is a former federal prosecutor who did notable work tackling the opioid crisis in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also a veteran of the Marine corps, where he rose to the rank of captain. He comes from a political family; his grandfather and his uncle prominently served in high-profile state posts.

 

Lamb is facing Republican state rep Rick Saccone, who likes to say that he “was Trump before Trump was Trump.” Lamb has never held elected office, and PA-18 has a strong Republican reputation. Given the overperformances by Democrats in special elections and state and local elections since Trump was elected, the Democrats believe that Lamb has a decent shot at the House seat.

 

Republican Tim Murphy vacated the seat in October 2017 after news broke that the pro-life Congressman had evidently urged a pregnant mistress to abort. He had held the Congressional seat since 2003.

 

 

See Lamb’s campaign website (scroll down for his bio):

https://conorlamb.com

 

 

Consider Lamb for your Core Four for 2018 (if he wins the special election, he’ll be up for re-election in November 2018; if he loses in March, he could choose to run again):

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/24/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to Conor Lamb:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/lamb-for-congress-1

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ConorLambPA/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@ConorLambPA

 

 

See Ballotpedia’s page on Pennsylvania’s 18th District:

https://ballotpedia.org/Pennsylvania%27s_18th_Congressional_District_special_election,_2018

 

 

Read about the Democrats choosing Lamb for the special election (there were no primaries in this case):

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2017/11/19/Conor-Lamb-Democrats-pick-replace-Tim-Murphy-18th-Congressional-district/stories/201711190199

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/11/19/democrats-pick-former-federal-prosecutor-for-special-congressional-election-in-pennsylvania/?utm_term=.a8c9eb22c663

 

 

Read a Politico story about how the Lamb-Saccone contest could be a bellwether for the 2018 midterms:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/23/republicans-brace-for-competitive-pennsylvania-house-race-316206

 

 

Read about the circumstances of Murphy’s retirement from Congress:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/04/tim-murphy-abortion-mistress-243456

Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read “How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required)”

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Read How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required), a Politico Magazine cover story on how a small, dedicated group of Alaskans are turning their state blue.

 

The long story details how a handful of left-leaning, highly motivated young Alaskans studied the political landscape of their state and have managed to reshape it, as this passage explains:

 

“In the five years since [Jonathan] Kreiss-Tomkins’s upset victory, a most unusual thing has happened: Alaska—which elected Sarah Palin governor and has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson—has turned from red to a bluish hue of purple. Throughout the state, unknown progressives, like the kind Kreiss-Tomkins once was, have been winning. Before the elections of 2012, conservatives controlled all the major seats of power in Alaska: the governorship, both houses of the Legislature, and the mayoralty and city assembly of Anchorage, where 40 percent of the state’s 740,000 residents live; now, progressives and moderates control all of those offices but the state Senate, which has been gerrymandered beyond their control. More than half of the 40-member Alaska House of Representatives has been newly elected since 2012, most of them Democrats or independents; together with three moderate Republicans, they have remade the Democratic-independent caucus into a 22-18 majority.

 

Not all of these newcomer state legislators are typical progressives—’the NPR-listening liberals hunt, fish or camp here,’ says Joelle Hall, political director of the Alaska AFL-CIO—but in defeating more conservative candidates, they accomplished something that didn’t happen anywhere else in November 2016: In a state that went for Trump by 15 points, they flipped a red legislative chamber to blue…

 

…Their emerging coalition has been a boon for the Democratic Party, of course, but what’s remarkable is how little of this transformation has depended on the party. To the extent that the Democratic Party has helped in its own revival—and in transforming Alaska from deep red to a blue-ish purple—it was in part by getting out of the way. As progressives across the country try to pry Republicans out of power, they have important lessons to learn from a state where they are wrongly thought to have no power at all.”

 

It’s worth setting aside 15 minutes or more to read the whole story and mull it over. Then  read it again and think about whether and how its lessons apply to your state.

 

A few tactics jump out: the Alaskans sometimes ran Independents in areas where progressives could win if they didn’t have a “D” next to their names; they actively recruited candidates for office rather than waiting for them to volunteer themselves; and they created Ship Creek Group, an entity that provided support, key staff, and campaign advice, which made it easier for reluctant recruits to say yes.

 

Read How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required):

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/12/how-to-turn-red-state-blue-purple-alaska-politics-2018-216304

 

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Community Activism · Good News · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Uncategorized

Do What George Lakoff Says: Don’t Retweet Trump, and Don’t Repeat Trump’s Language

Do what George Lakoff says: don’t retweet Trump, and don’t repeat Trump’s language.

 

A key lesson in Lakoff’s classic book, Don’t Think of an Elephant! is to resist repeating the language of people such as Trump.

 

In fact, it’s extra-important to avoid repeating Trump in particular.

 

When you repeat his language, you reinforce it and you normalize it.

 

Don’t retweet his tweets, not even to quote-tweet him. Don’t push his words into other people’s feeds. You’re just injecting those words deeper into the brains of others.

 

Don’t repeat his slogans. Don’t riff on them, no matter how funny your riffs are.

 

To repeat Trump is to amplify him.

 

Don’t repeat him.

 

Push the message YOU want to push. Not his.

 

Find YOUR OWN language. Write your own slogans. Push those instead.

 

A tweeter using the handle @LuLuLemew summed it up well in a March 29, 2019 tweet in reference to the Mueller Report, which Lakoff retweeted:

 

Until we see the report, some advice from

▪︎Don’t use any of Trump’s terms, images, or videos.

Ignore his antics —  ▪︎if you retweet it you can’t defeat it

▪︎when you embed it you spread it ▪︎

To defeat, reframe, don’t repeat

 

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Uncategorized

Give Blood to Fight the Summer Slowdown in Donations

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.

 

Please donate blood before and during the summer months, a time when donations tend to fall off sharply.

 

The Red Cross always needs donations of blood and platelets, but things get worse in the summer months, when schedules are disrupted by vacations and blood drives at high schools and colleges are not an option.

 

If you are a regular donor, please plan vacations with your donation schedule in mind, and try to recruit a friend or two to come and donate with you during the summer.

 

If it’s been a while since you gave, think about how and when to work a blood drive into your summer plans.

 

If you have never donated, find out if you are eligible, and consider whether it is something you feel you can do.

 

 

Find the Red Cross blood drive happening closest to you:

http://www.redcross.org

 

 

Read about how blood and platelet donations tend to drop severely–losing as many as 100,000–during the summer:

http://www.redcrossblood.org/news/nne/red-cross-urges-blood-and-platelet-donations-summer

 

 

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Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Health Care · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Students for Changes, an Advocacy Group Started by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

Support Students for Changes, a nonprofit advocacy group started by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the deadly shooting on February 14, 2018.

 

Cofounded by three survivors of the attack that killed 17 of their peers and teachers, Students for Changes focuses on three things: gun safety, mental health, and school safety. The ultimate goal is to create a world where deadly school shootings are memories and not ever-present threats.

 

 

The pinned tweet on its Twitter page as of early March 2018 stated:

This Nonprofit Organization is started and led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas students. We’ve made this for the express purpose of connecting and consolidating the efforts of students nationwide to change our current policies and societal notions.

 

 

During the same period, its Twitter feed thanked Delta Airlines for rescinding the group discount it had offered to National Rifle Association (NRA) members, thanked Kroger, Walmart, and L.L. Bean for raising their minimum customer age for gun sales to 21, and promised to keep fighting after the Florida state senate passed, then quickly revoked, a two-year ban on the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

 

 

The founders intend this to be a student-led movement, and they encourage the creation of chapters in schools across America. As of March 4, 2018, SSC is filing to become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

 

 

Visit the Students for Changes webpage:

https://www.studentsforchanges.org

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to Students for Changes:

https://www.studentsforchanges.org/copy-of-make-a-donation

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/studentsforchanges/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@students4c