Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Support Miry’s List, Which Assists Refugee Families Who Settle in Southern California

Want to help refugee families who have just arrived in America? Check out Miry’s List, which provides new arrivals to southern California with basic needs.

Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar launched Miry’s List in July 2016 after encountering a Syrian refugee family of five, with five-year-old twins and a five-month-old, who had just come to California and needed baby gear and groceries. After getting them set, she realized that she had unwittingly found a gaping hole in the social safety net, and created Miry’s List to fill it.

As of February 2017, Miry’s List had completely taken care of the needs of 60 refugee families in southern California. It is in the process of becoming a 501(3)c organization.

 

Join Miry’s List:

https://www.miryslist.org/give

 

See the current Miry’s List roster of families needing help:

https://www.miryslist.org/lists

 

Donate to Miry’s List:

https://www.miryslist.org/donations

 

Like Miry’s List on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/miryslist

 

Follow Miry’s List on Twitter:

@miryslist

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

 

Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.

In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:

Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.

If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.

You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs and Make It Damn Clear You Expect Them to Condemn Trump Forcefully for Yesterday’s Racist Remarks

Call your MoCs, all three of them, and make it damn clear that you expect them to condemn Donald Trump himself, specifically, by name, for his disgusting remarks of yesterday (August 15).

These last few months have been stomach-turning and bizarre. Trump keeps bringing us lower, and lower, and lower, leaving us to wonder when he will take us to the bottom.

Well, he just might have hit bottom on the afternoon of August 15, when he essentially walked back his comments on Charlottesville, doubled down on bothsidesism, and pretty much equated Confederate general Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Holy crap. Just, holy crap. It is hard to know what to say. It is hard to know where to start.

Probably best to send you directly to Politico‘s transcript of the impromptu press conference, so you can see the batshittery for yourself:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/15/full-text-trump-comments-white-supremacists-alt-left-transcript-241662

Before you call your MoCs, check their social media feeds. If they have condemned Trump’s initial round of remarks on Charlottesville, acknowledge that. (Don’t thank them for that, just acknowledge you saw their statements. No one gets a cookie for saying Nazis are bad, FFS.)

If one or more of your MoCs have said nothing at all, about any of Trump’s Charlottesville statements? CALL THEM OUT. Politely, but forcefully. Never be rude. You can be angry, and you can get that anger across, without being rude. Honest.

If your MoCs are Republican, it is extra-important for you to call.

If one of your MoCs is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it is super-mega-extra important for you to call.

Basic script for a Democratic MoC who spoke out against Trump’s Charlottesville comments: “Hi, I’m (Firstname, Lastname, from town, zip code), and I’m calling (Senator/House Rep Lastname) to thank them for speaking out against Donald Trump’s disgusting, racist remarks about Charlottesville. I would also ask them to support any efforts to remove Confederate monuments from public lands around the country, and support any efforts to restore the scope of the federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program–widening its focus to include homegrown white supremacist terrorists. Trump’s administration urged that it be reworked to exclude white supremacist terrorists and focus only on Islamic terrorism. Thank you.”

Alternate script for a Democratic or Republican MoC who inexplicably hasn’t said anything about any of Trump’s Charlottesville comments: “Hi, I’m (Firstname, Lastname, from town, zip code), and I’m calling (Senator/House Rep Lastname) to ask that they go on record and speak out against Donald Trump’s disgusting, racist remarks about Charlottesville. I looked at their social media feeds and didn’t see anything along those lines, which is why I ask. I would also ask them to support any efforts to remove Confederate monuments from public lands around the country, and support any efforts to restore the scope of the federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program–widening its focus to include homegrown white supremacist terrorists. Trump’s administration urged that it be reworked to exclude white supremacist terrorists and focus only on Islamic terrorism. Thank you.”

 

Basic script for a Republican MoC who might have said something about the earlier Trump comments on Charlottesville, but hasn’t spoken out about the August 15 comments, or did so without calling out Trump by name or by his POTUS title: “Hi, I’m (Firstname, Lastname, from town, zip code). I wanted to thank (Senator/House Rep Lastname) for speaking out about Trump’s earlier comments on Charlottesville, but I would ask that they step up a second time and address Trump’s disgusting, racist comments of August 15, and condemn him by name. I looked at their social media feeds and didn’t see anything along those lines, which is why I ask.”

“I would also ask them to support any efforts to remove Confederate monuments from public lands around the country, and support any efforts to restore the scope of the federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program–widening its focus to include homegrown white supremacist terrorists. Trump’s administration urged that it be reworked to exclude white supremacist terrorists and focus only on Islamic terrorism. Thank you.”

 

Special script for constituents of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other Republican Congressional leaders: “I’m (Firstname, Lastname, from town, zip code). I wanted to thank (Senator/House Rep Lastname) for speaking out about Trump’s earlier comments on Charlottesville, but I would ask that they use their power as Republican leaders to condemn what Trump said on August 15 and make it unambiguously clear that those attitudes are utterly repugnant and against what the party stands for.”

“I would also ask them to support any efforts to remove Confederate monuments from public lands around the country, and support any efforts to restore the scope of the federal Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program–widening its focus to include homegrown white supremacist terrorists. Trump’s administration urged that it be reworked to exclude white supremacist terrorists and focus only on Islamic terrorism. Thank you.”

 

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Learn How to Help Charlottesville, the Target of Deadly Protests by Neo-Nazis

Learn how to help Charlottesville, Virginia, which was the target of neo-Nazi protests that turned deadly this weekend.

In case you missed it or need to catch up, here are some articles on what happened in Charlottesville. In essence, neo-Nazis didn’t just have a routine protest. They tried to have what they saw as a coming-out party for their noxious ideas. Many showed up to counter-protest:

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138246/charlottesville-nazi-rally-right-uva

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16139328/charlottesville-protesters-riot-violence

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/state-of-emergency-in-va-after-white-nationalist-rally.html

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/live-coverage-victim-of-charlottesville-car-attack-was–year/article_a3cf7b72-e437-5472-8025-43147acf3d34.html

 

The site of the Unite the Right rally was chosen to protest the recent decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The area where it stands was recently renamed Emancipation Park. (The statue is still there but will be sold.)

We will give specifics on how to help the people in Charlottesville shortly, but the most important thing you can do, in our opinion, is to work to remove pro-Confederate monuments, wherever they are. Do you have one where you live? Now is the time to start a movement to get rid of it.

Petition your mayor, your city council, your selectmen, whoever runs the place where you live. Celebrations of treason do not belong anywhere in America. When asking for their removal, call them what they are–celebrations of treason.

And also be clear–you don’t just want these monuments removed, you want them destroyed. Smashed to pieces. Reduced to scrap metal. As noted above, Charlottesville intends to sell its Robert E. Lee statue.

Now, think–who is going to buy it? Particularly now that it’s been the focus of such a horrible event? If it is bought, it will live on to inspire more neo-Nazis. No. No. It and the rest of these foul symbols have to be turned into slag.

German Lopez at Vox sums up the power of the act of removing Confederate monuments in a piece titled Kentucky Mayor Responds to Charlottesville by Doing Exactly What White Nationalists Don’t Want. Read it here:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/12/16139142/charlottesville-va-protests-lexington-mayor

See also these tweets from the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray:

I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.

The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.

And once you read the story, send a thank-you to Mayor Gray, by post or tweet, because you know he’s getting shit rained on him by committed assholes, and his city could be targeted by them for protest.

 

Send a thank-you postcard here:

Mayor Jim Gray

200 E. Main St.

Lexington, KY, 40507

 

Send a thank-you tweet to the mayor:

@JimGrayLexKY

 

Related to thanking Mayor Gray–another good way to show support for communities that remove Confederate statues is to reward them with your dollars. Plan your next vacation there, and tell the tourist board why you chose their area.

Here’s the website for the Lexington, Kentucky tourist board:

http://www.visitlex.com

 

And below is the website for the tourist board of New Orleans:

http://www.neworleansonline.com

 

Its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has been carting away Confederate monuments, and he gave a moving speech on why it needed to be done.

 

Read the text of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech:

And here’s the tourism website for Charlottesville, Virginia:

https://www.visitcharlottesville.org

 

Update: In the early hours of August 16, 2017, the city of Baltimore hauled away its Confederate monuments. Thank them by considering a vacation to Baltimore. Here’s the city’s tourism website:

http://baltimore.org

 

Now, here are some specifics for supporting Charlottesville and the people who protested the neo-Nazis.

An Alaskan member of the Democratic Socialists of America has set up a GoFundMe to pay medical and funeral expenses of fellow members who were struck by the Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., evidently of Ohio (his car had Ohio plates). He killed a 32-year-old local woman, later identified as Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. He is in custody and faces murder charges.

The fundraiser has hit its initial goal of $75,000 and its subsequent goal of $100,000. Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, it had hit its third goal of $125,000, was closing in on $150,000, and was still open to accept donations. Update to the update: At 8 pm EST, it had passed $165,000 and was still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $178,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fund-for-comrades-in-cville

 

 

One of the photos that went viral showed a young black man being beaten with poles by white supremacists. The man has since identified himself as 20-year-old Deandre Harris. He suffered a head injury, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.

His friends and family have created a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses. As of 3 pm EST on August 13, it was almost four-fifths of the way to its $50,000 goal. (Warning–there is a graphic shot of a bloodied Harris on the page):

https://www.gofundme.com/i-was-beaten-by-white-supremacists

Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, the campaign had met its goal and stood at more than $105,000. It remains open to take donations. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: Past $107,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $137,000 and still open.

 

A local woman, Felicia Venita Correa, has set up a separate GoFundMe for Heather Heyer. It has hit its $20,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/our-sisters-keeper-heatherheyer

Update: The Heather Heyer campaign closed after collecting just over $225,000. Please direct your giving efforts to one of the related open GoFundMes.

 

More GoFundMe campaigns have since been set up to aid the victims of the motor vehicle attack, some for all the injured and some for individuals. Since the initial reports on the day of the incident, we have seen subsequent reports that count more than 19 injured. As of August 14, we have yet to see a list of names of the injured.

A GoFundMe started by Unity C-ville, a community group, had reached its $50,000 goal and had tallied more than $65,000 by 4 am on August 14. It remains open. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: It’s past $92,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $109,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/united-cville-victim-relief

Update, 8 pm EST August 14: Here are more GoFundMe campaigns for Charlottesville victims of the motor vehicle attack:

 

For 20-year-old Natalie Romero. She is still hospitalized with a skull fracture and other wounds and does not have health insurance. Her goal is $120,000 and it’s at almost $110,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $131,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/natalie-romero-medical-fund

 

For Marcus Martin, who saved his fiancé by pushing her out of the path of the car. He suffered broken bones and torn ligaments and won’t be able to return to his job as a landscaper for a while. His goal is $40,000, and it’s approaching $25,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $56,000 and still open:

https://www.gofundme.com/marcus-martin

 

Heyer’s was not the only death connected to the protests in Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police troopers–Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-pilot Berke M. M. Bates, died when their police helicopter crash as they patrolled the events from the air. Read about the accident:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/36123329/helicopter-crash-near-charlottesville-rally-kills-two-virginia-cops

We have looked for online fundraisers for the families of the troopers and have not seen anything yet. We will update this post accordingly if we learn of one.

 

Here also is the link to the Anti-Racist Legal Fund for Solidarity C’ville. Update: As of 9 pm EST on August 14, the campaign had collected almost $150,000, well above its $50,000 goal. Though the campaign is still open, its page says the legal fund is now set and to please direct your giving to medical needs:

https://fundly.com/solidarity-c-ville-7-8-anti-racist-legal-fund

 

Many branches of Indivisible have planned local events to show support for the anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Look here to see if there’s one near you:

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/search/

 

Here are links to other articles that list Charlottesville-area charities and organizations that were involved in the counter-protests, are helping with the aftermath, or are the types of entities whose very existence annoys neo-Nazis:

View story at Medium.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-support-anti-racism-organizations-in-charlottesville-76190

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-the-victims-in-charlottesville-right-now-76195

 

The pinned tweet at the top of Sara Benincasa’s page leads to a Medium article with more  C’ville nonprofits you can help:

@SaraJBenincasa

 

…and here’s the Twitter handle for Indivisible Cville, where we found several of these links:

@IndivisibleVA05

 

Lastly, an idea. Please consider wearing something purple to the next protest that you attend. Purple was Heather Heyer’s favorite color. She should not be forgotten. This is a way to remember her and to bring her spirit to future protests.

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn from Daryl Davis, A Black Man Who Convinced More Than Two Dozen KKK Members to Leave the Group

Learn from Daryl Davis, a black musician who has devoted himself to convincing white supremacists to leave the Ku Klux Klan, with surprising success.

In a February 2017 Atlantic magazine article titled ‘Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump’, Conor Friedersdorf spoke with Davis about his approach. The piece contains wisdom that you can apply when speaking to family and friends who voted for Trump, and even in conversations with diehards.

To summarize Friedersdorf’s distillation of Davis’s approach:

Before you engage, be as familiar with the other person’s position as you are with your own.

Invite them to a conversation–NOT a debate.

Look for things you and they have in common.

Keep talking, even if you have to break off and resume later in the week, or the month, or the year. Being able to keep a conversation going–however tumultuous–is better than refusing to talk. Silence can lead to violence.

Stay patient.

Make deliberate efforts to escape your bubble.

If you argue, don’t condescend.

Let the other person explain their cause. Don’t explain it for them.

 

You may never get as good at talking to your opponents as Davis is–some klansmen have given him their old uniforms as they abandon their bigoted beliefs. But if you can reach even a few people, and get them to think and engage, that is a victory in and of itself.

 

Read ‘Every Racist I Know Voted for Donald Trump’:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/every-racist-i-know-voted-for-donald-trump/516420/?utm_source=feed

 

Listen to the episodes of the Love + Radio podcasts where Davis talks about his adventures at length:

http://loveandradio.org/2017/02/how-to-argue/

 

Purchase and read Davis’s book, Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan (warning: As of April 2017, it’s out of print and pricey):

https://www.amazon.com/Klan-Destine-Relationships-Black-Mans-Odyssey/dp/0882822691

 

Visit Davis’s web site:

http://www.daryldavis.com

Call Your State Legislators · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Find Out If Your State Has Abortion Trigger Laws and Make Sure They’re Pro-Choice

Does your state have abortion trigger laws–laws that instantly go into effect if Roe vs Wade is overturned? Find out, and urge your state legislators to pass pro-choice laws if need be. 

Trump and the Republicans are hell-bent on overturning Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision that ensured that women will have safe, reliable access to abortion on demand. Trump announced his intention to appoint anti-choice SCOTUS judges and, well, just look at the nonsense that so many Republicans have pursued lately on this front.

If Roe vs Wade is overturned, the power to regulate abortion access goes back to the states. It makes eminent sense, then, to see what laws your state has on its books. Many have put so-called ‘trigger laws’ in place–laws that will ban legal abortion instantly should Roe vs Wade disappear.

Is your state one of them?

First, you should learn how accessible abortion services are in your state right now. NARAL Pro-choice America has created an interactive map that will show you (scroll down a bit to find the map).

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/laws-policy/state-government/

Mouse over your state to see if it offers strongly restricted access (red); restricted access (pinkish); some access (purple-pink); protected access (purple); or strongly protected access (blue).

Once you have learned how things are now, while abortion is legal on the federal level, go to the link below, find your local chapter of NARAL, ask whether your state has anti-choice trigger laws on the books, and ask what you can do to get them overturned.

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/about/state-affiliates/

 

You can also use a nifty tool created by the Our States web site that shows you at a glance whether your state is considering anti-choice legislation right now. Click the link below and click on ‘Reproductive Justice’:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

Like NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/naralprochoiceamerica

 

Follow NARAL Pro-Choice on Twitter:

@NARAL

 

Donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/homepage_maindonate/?refcode=mainbutton

 

 

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Support the Work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

Support the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization that is tracking right-wing and white supremacist hate groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and other worthy causes received a lot of attention in the months following Trump’s election. While the SPLC hasn’t exactly been neglected, it should receive more attention.

The SPLC, headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, has been fighting hate and bigotry since 1971. Its most famous successes might be a series of lawsuits that effectively bankrupted the Ku Klux Klan. It tracks hate groups of all sorts, and its Hatewatch pays particular attention to far-right groups and white supremacists.

Its #ReportHate website function lets you tell them about hateful incidents you have witnessed. Its HateMap lets you see where hateful groups might be operating near you. It creates documentaries, lesson plans, and related materials that teach how to fight bigotry. It runs the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery.

 

Visit the SPLC website:

https://www.splcenter.org

 

Read its excellent guide, Responding to Everyday Bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

See its Hatewatch page:

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SPLCenter

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@splcenter

 

Donate to the SPLC:

https://donate.splcenter.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=463