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Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway.

This OTYCD post originally ran in August 2018.

 

Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway. 

 

You might have noticed that people are pissed about the way things are going. You might be one of those pissed-off people. Team Trump and its shitshow of corruption, cruelty, and pro-bully tactics have spurred millions to do more to push back.

 

A fair number of registered Republicans–including some high-profile ones–have left the party and gone independent. Many folks who were never politically active stepped up after the November 2016 election. They went to protests for the first time in their lives. Same again for phone-banking, knocking on doors, donating to causes and candidates, and calling their members of Congress. A small but heroic number found the courage to run for office.

 

It is unprecedented. It is organic. It might be unique in the history of America. And it should continue as long as Team Trump keeps crazy-assing and the GOP keeps shirking its duties to check Team Trump’s fucked-up, hateful, hurtful actions.

 

But! While we are righteous, motivated, and strong, we could still lose.

 

Take the SCOTUS nomination battle. Team Trump and the GOP are determined to ram their choice through before the midterms. We don’t want that. But because Democratic Senators are in the minority, there’s only so much they can do to stop it.

 

They will do what they can. They will fight. And, as we at OTYCD have asked, you should call your Senators and urge them to fight (if they’re Democrats) or vote no if they’re Republicans. Yes, your Republican Senators probably won’t change their votes, but they need to know their constituents oppose them on this, and will work to vote them out if they move a Trump nominee along.

 

But we could lose this one, and losing this one would be bad. People you love will be hurt by a SCOTUS dominated by hard-right judges. People you love could die as a result of a hard-right SCOTUS decision. You could lose your health insurance. Gerrymandering might get a yellow or green light. Voting rights might be curtailed. Parts of the Constitution that annoy evangelical Christians, greedy corporations, racists, and committed bullies could be muzzled and stomped upon. Democracy could be smothered. [Edited to add: This post was written and queued before the Senate approved Kavanaugh by a 51-49 vote.]

 

The answer is to keep fighting.

 

The only way to stop the SCOTUS from being perverted by hard-right extremists is to elect Democrats to the Senate and keep electing Democrats to the Senate until there are enough of them to control the chamber. And once they control the chamber, you need to defend them so they can keep control of the chamber and stop hard-right extremists from getting on the court.

 

If Democrats controlled the Senate now, they could refuse any nominee who’s stupidly hard-right and continue to refuse until Team Trump puts forward an actual moderate. But they don’t, so they can’t.

 

But if you curl into a ball and quit when the news of InJustice EvilJerk’s swearing-in breaks, we all lose.

 

Same again with the 2018 midterms. Things generally look good right now. But we won’t get absolutely everything we want. Simply from a mathematic standpoint, it’s unlikely that every Democrat wins and every Republican loses. There are too many races, at too many levels. There will be losses, and some of those losses might be tough.

 

Plus, there’s an elephant in the room (or, rather, the polling place). Having successfully messed with the 2016 elections, Russia’s hackers will be keen to try again in November 2018, and Team Trump has yet to order the National Security Agency (NSA) to take the steps needed to defend our country from those attacks.

 

Again, if you curl into a ball and quit when news breaks of, say, Iowa House Rep Steve King’s reelection, we all lose.

 

Yes, rest. Yes, unplug. Yes, take time away. You are allowed to have fun. You are allowed to do things that make you happy. Heck, it’s vital. Drafting and sticking with a self-care routine is one of the most important things you can do.

 

Rest. Recharge. Frolic. Forget for a few hours or days, maybe even weeks. But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

And hey, getting mad is OK, too. Crying is OK. Despairing is OK. Feeling the force of your emotions is OK! But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

Trump will go, but you must not.

 

You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.

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Learn How to Intervene as a Bystander to Hateful Speech and Acts

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

Learn or refresh yourself on strategies for how to diffuse hateful situations as a bystander.

 

The racist terrorist attack on public transit in Portland, Oregon in May that left two men dead and a third wounded raised awareness about bystander training. The passengers who became victims confronted the ranting man directly when he accosted two young women who appeared to be Muslim, and continued to do so after he made death threats against those who tried to de-escalate the situation.

 

Those who offer bystander training have said that the Portland men didn’t do anything wrong. It would be a shame if the incident scared people off from confronting people who spew hate in public spaces.

 

Here are a bundle of resources that will help you learn how to intervene when you witness hateful situations.

 

 

Start with Maeril’s now-classic cartoon on what to do if you witness Islamophobic harassment.

 

 

Hollaback, a movement devoted to stopping street harassment, offers digital bystander intervention training for a modest fee:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollaback-bystander-intervention-digital-training-tickets-33624094572

 

 

Read the text of a speech on Bystander Intervention Training given by folks at the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8L8vf0joWhQZE9WZHNtSnMxWk0/view

 

 

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!

 

 

See if Collective Action for Safe Spaces is doing a bystander intervention workshop near you, or request one:

http://www.collectiveactiondc.org/our-work/trainings-workshops/

 

 

For background, read a local news account of the Portland attack:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/05/max_heros_last_words_tell_ever.html

 

 

And read a Slate article about bystander training in the wake of the attack:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/06/02/after_portland_bystander_intervention_training_is_more_important_than_ever.html

 

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Help RAICES Texas Fight to Get Migrants and Their Families Out of Detention

Help RAICES Texas fight to get migrants and their families out of detention along the southern border of the United States.

 

Babies are still in cages.

 

We wish we didn’t have to write that sentence, but we must, because it’s true.

 

RAICES Texas came to prominence in mid-2018 when the horrors of what the Trump administration was doing to migrant families–separating parents from kids pretty much because they could, in hopes that would scare them from coming north–became public.

 

The spotlight has moved to other ongoing Trump administration horrors and betrayals, but its treatment of migrants continues to be a scandal and a shame.

 

RAICES Texas is carrying on the fight. It’s a 33-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has evolved into the largest provider of legal services to immigrants in Texas. They have a team of more than 130 lawyers who defend migrants in court, educate them about their rights, and even help them obtain abortion care.

 

 

See the RAICES Texas website:

https://www.raicestexas.org/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Donate to RAICES Texas:

https://www.raicestexas.org/donate/donate-in-honor-or-memory-of-someone-you-love/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Resources page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/resources/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

See its Services page:

https://www.raicestexas.org/services/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Sign up for its email newsletter:

https://www.raicestexas.org/email-newsletter/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

If you live close enough and have the skills needed, volunteer for RAICES:

https://www.raicestexas.org/volunteer/?ms=raices_tw

 

 

Follow RAICES on Twitter:

@RAICESTEXAS

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Join Showing Up for Racial Justice and Become a Better Ally

Join Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a group that encourages and organizes white people to dismantle white supremacy and move America toward actual racial equality.

If you’re reading this, odds are you’re white. And odds are you’re sickened by how white supremacy warps our society and you want to do something about it. Knowing what to do, exactly, can be hard. White supremacy is insidious and it can be hard for white people to see its effects as clearly as people of color do.

SURJ, founded in 2009, is a network of white anti-racists that’s devoted to serving as allies to people of color and their causes. It also supports using white privilege as a weapon against itself by speaking out against police brutality and related abuses. It facilitates the awkward conversations that white people need to have, amongst ourselves, without burdening people of color to shepherd us and do the work for us.

SURJ is intersectional and all-inclusive while staying alert to how systemic racism shows its face in a chapter’s local community, and finding thoughtful, specific ways to fight back. SURJ will also help you learn to be a better, more useful ally.

 

Visit the SURJ website:

http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org

 

Find your nearest SURJ group:

http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/affiliated_groups_local_contacts

 

Donate to SURJ:

https://showingupforracialjustice.nationbuilder.com/donate

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingUpForRacialJusticesurj/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@ShowUp4RJ

 

Read this 2015 interview with SURJ leaders:

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/answering-the-call-white-people-showing-up-for-racial-justice-hesaid/

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Support Doctors Against Trump, Which Boosts Progressive Physicians Who Are Running for Office

Support Doctors Against Trump, an organization that endorses progressive physicians who are running for office at the federal, state, and local levels.

 

The election of Donald Trump had at least one good effect–it jolted countless numbers of people who are far, far better human beings than him to become more politically active.

 

Doctors are chief among them. Clinicians for Progressive Care (CPC) is exactly what it says it is–a group of clinicians who support progressive-minded health care.

 

That means universal access to high-quality care that’s respectfully dispensed to everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, and immigration status. It also means supporting well-designed medical research.

 

CPC endorses physician-candidates who embrace these values. To the delight of those at OTYCD, several people we’ve featured in check-out-this-candidate posts made the CPC cut, including Kyle Horton, Jason Westin, Christine Eady Mann, and Allison Galbraith.

 

 

See the CPC homepage:

https://www.cliniciansforprogressivecare.com

 

 

Donate to CPC:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jdfkjshdfjkabsdfhuiewhgriugtw78erifbsig

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@MDsAgainstTrump

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which defends the first amendment rights of military personnel against coercion by fundamentalists of all stripes.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein founded the MRFF in 2005 with the aim of combatting extremists, usually Christians, who attempt religious intimidation against military colleagues who do not share their views. It has assisted more than 50,000 active duty military, about 96 percent of whom identify as Christian. The remaining four percent comprise adherents of other faiths, or profess no faith. The MRFF has pursued legal action against the Pentagon and the Secretary of Defense on behalf of military plaintiffs who have been wronged by the actions of overly aggressive fundamentalist Christians.

The MRFF’s mission statement includes these tenets, among others:

  • No religion or religious philosophy may be advanced by the United States Armed Forces over any other religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to conform to a particular religion or religious philosophy.
  • No member of the United States Armed Forces may be compelled in any way to witness or engage in any religious exercise.
  • No member of the military may be compelled to endure unwanted religious proselytization, evangelization or persuasion of any sort in a military setting and/or by a military superior or civilian employee of the military.
  • The full exercise of religious freedom includes the right not to subscribe to any particular religion or religious philosophy. The so-called “unchurched” cede no Constitutional rights by want of their separation from organized faith.

 

Visit the MRFF website:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org

 

Like MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MikeyMRFF

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@MikeyWeinstein

 

Donate to the MRFF:

https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/make-a-donation/

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Support the Transgender Law Center

Support the Transgender Law Center (TLC), which defends transgender rights.

 

Founded in California in 2002, TLC is the largest civil rights organization in America that’s run by transgender and gender-nonconforming people. It’s committed to improving the lot of transpeople, as well as those who thrive at different points along the gender spectrum, through advocacy and fighting discrimination.

 

Its concerns include the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, which defends and advocates for this doubly (and sometimes triply) marginalized group; the Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE), which recruits and trains lawyers to provide pro bono help to trans immigrants fight deportation; and the Detention Project, which seeks ways to minimize and ideally end the abuses trans people suffer in prisons, hospitals, and other facilities that curtail freedom, be it briefly or for life.

 

 

See the Transgender Law Center’s website:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org

 

 

See its About page:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org/about

 

 

See its blog, which provides updates on the TLC’s actions and related issues:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org/blog

 

 

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 the Transgender Law Center:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org/donate

 

 

Volunteer with the Transgender Law Center:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/14237

 

 

Like the Transgender Law Center on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/translawcenter

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@TransLawCenter