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:

 

 

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!

 

 

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

Community Activism · Elections · Ethics · Good News · Social Media · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Captain Awkward Is the Half-Assed Activist on Her Patreon Page, and Is, Unsurprisingly, Awesome

Captain Awkward is the Half-Assed Activist on her Patreon page, and is, unsurprisingly, awesome. You should read it and become a monthly donor. 

 

So! A while back we at One Thing You Can Do devoted a blog post to Captain Awkward because she has a lot of good advice that applies to dealing with trolls and twerps without losing your shit–skills that apply to dealing with politically-motivated trolls and twerps.

 

You can see that post here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/11/13/embrace-the-awkward-learn-to-handle-all-sorts-of-unreasonable-people/

 

Since then she’s added a Patreon and added a feature to her Patreon page: The Half-Assed Activist. It launched in January 2019 and it specifically tackles issues around political engagement, mental health, and mental health.

 

It’s exclusive to her Patreon, so you need to go there to see it.

 

You should be a Captain Awkward Patreon anyway (Disclaimer: Sarah Jane gives her $1 per month). But! The material she’s written for The Half-Assed Activist makes it even more of a bargain.*

 

The posts are infrequent–as of May 2019, there have been two–but they’re worth your time. Her April post, We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive, expertly brings the fire and merits a bookmark, so you can return to it and stoke yourself to go out there and do what needs doing.

 

 

Here’s the Patreon post in which CA introduces The Half-Assed Activist:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/new-feature-half-23921449

 

 

Here’s the link to We Have Always Lived In Presidential Primary Season: A Half-Assed Activist Post About Getting Through This Shitshow Without Perpetuating Or Tolerating Bad Behavior And Keeping Some Tiny Spark Of Hope Alive:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/we-have-always-26242073

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

 

 

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!

 

 

*Captain Awkward generously gives hat-tips to One Thing You Can Do on her Patreon page. We’re delighted with hearing nice words spoken about us by someone we’ve all looked up to forever, but you should know–we didn’t solicit those comments. No logrolling here, we promise. And if her posts for The Half-Assed Activist sucked, we wouldn’t write about them. But they don’t, so we are.

 

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

Thwart a Constitutional Convention by Electing Democrats to State Legislatures

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

 

Thwart any plans the Republicans might have to call a Constitutional Convention by helping to elect Democrats to state legislatures–your state’s, and other states. 

 

You know the importance of electing Democrats at all levels–federal, state, and local. You’ve read our blog posts on state-level legislative elections, and you might have done something to help. But there’s another reason to stay alert to state legislative elections, both in your state and in other states, and work to ensure that Democrats get elected.

 

The country can call a Constitutional Convention if two-thirds of the states band together and ask for one. Such a convention would allow its members to amend or even rewrite the Constitution.

 

What’s the problem? In order to call a Constitutional Convention, 34 states would have to  pass bills in their own legislatures to ask for one. A total of 38 states are needed to pass any measures cooked up at the convention.

 

As of mid-2017, 32 states have Republican-controlled legislatures, and 24 of those states have Republican “trifectas”–Republican governors AND a Republican-controlled legislature. Democrats have only six trifectas, and six more legislatures are split.

 

Worse, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank, has been steadily working toward changing the state legislative landscape to open the door to a Constitutional Convention. It’s agitating for a balanced budget amendment–which would prevent Congress from passing a budget that increases the national debt.

To lay it out plainly: If a Constitutional Convention happens anytime soon, it will be dominated by Republican-leaning states, and will almost certainly be dominated by measures that reflect Republican and conservative points of view.

 

They could write amendments that bans gay marriage, or abortion. They could augment the second amendment in a dangerous way. Heck, they could rewrite the first amendment to curtail protests. They could get up to all sorts of nasty shenanigans. That’s not to say their amendments will convince 38 states to vote in favor, but still.

 

You can thwart this in many ways.

 

First, learn which party, if any, controls your state legislature, and assess the strength or weakness of the party’s control.

 

If your state is controlled by Democrats, learn how to strengthen the party’s control by increasing their numbers. This might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

 

If your state splits control between the parties, see what you can do to broaden and boost Democratic control. Again, this might mean spending time or money on electing, re-electing, and defending state candidates who need your help.

 

If your state is controlled by Republicans, you will want to commit time and money to increasing the number of Democrats, especially if your state has a Republican trifecta.

 

If you want to help affect legislatures beyond your state, target states with Republican trifectas and do your damnedest to break them.

 

 

Learn about upcoming state elections through Flippable:

https://www.flippable.org

 

 

 

Read about Constitutional Conventions, the modern pro-convention movement, and what’s at stake:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/a-constitutional-convention-could-be-the-single-most-dangerous-way-to-fix-american-government/?utm_term=.5eaf6cce9a8e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-surprisingly-close-to-a-new-constitutional-convention-bad-idea/2017/04/06/f6d5b76a-197d-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html?utm_term=.bbdac53be324

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/01/_liberals_and_conservatives_are_teaming_up_to_call_a_new_constitutional.html

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/wisconsin/articles/2017-05-31/republicans-push-constitutional-convention-measures-forward

http://wuwm.com/post/wisconsin-could-become-30th-state-demand-constitutional-convention#stream/0

 

 

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!

 

 

Check this Wikipedia page to see which party, if any, controls your state legislature:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures

 

 

Read about how Republicans now control many state legislatures:

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/after-winning-7-more-seats-gop-dominance-state-legislatures-all

 

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Wear Orange On June 7 For National Gun Violence Awareness Day

This OTYCD piece originally ran in May 2018. It has been updated for 2019.

 

Plan to wear orange on June 7 to support National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and see if there’s a Wear Orange Weekend event near you.

 

The Wear Orange movement is an effort championed by Everytown for Gun Safety, but not started by it. The movement began with those who mourned the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed in Chicago in 2013 one week after she participated in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. They donned orange in her honor, and orange became the color of the anti-gun violence movement.

 

Several #WearOrange events have been planned across the country to raise awareness about gun violence and demand a safer world. They include parades, barbecues, rallies, marches, and more.

 

To find an event near you, enter your zip code into the search engine at this link:

https://wearorange.org

 

 

 

And of course you can follow the #WearOrange hashtag on social media.

 

 

See the Wear Orange homepage:

https://wearorange.org

 

 

See the Wear Orange About page:

https://wearorange.org/about/

 

 

Buy merch in the Wear Orange shop:

Wear Orange Collection

 

 

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!

Action Alerts · Escape Your Bubble · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Escape Your Bubble: Support Republican Women for Progress

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018.

 

Escape your bubble by checking out and supporting Republican Women for Progress (RWFP).

 

RWFP is the successor organization to Republican Women for Hillary. Founded in May 2016 by Jennifer Pierotti Lim (who spoke on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention) and Meghan Milloy. It proves that liberal Republicans aren’t dead, and it’s devoted to supporting Republican women who share its decidedly unTrumpy, markedly saner vision for the party of Lincoln.

 

Obligatory warning, with apologies for bonking you over the head with this: RWFP is the creation of Republicans. Its founders hold at least some different political beliefs than you do. That means they’ll sometimes say things and do things that don’t match your beliefs, and might piss you off well and thoroughly. That’s ok. Really, it’s OK. You’re being asked to look at what they’re doing and support what you like, not endorse every last little everything they do. They understand the danger of Trump–that’s the key thing. One of the reasons this country is so borked right now is we’re fiercely polarized and, in avoiding jerks who disagree with us, we end up avoiding decent people who happen to disagree with us. That’s got to stop if we want to make things better.

 

Read assorted articles about the origin and the evolution of RWFP:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2017/06/republican_women_for_progress_want_to_take_the_gop_back_from_trump.html

https://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/conversations-what-made-two-republican-women-back-hillary-clinton/?_r=1

http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/news/a23128/im-a-republican-voting-for-hillary-clinton/

 

 

Visit the home page:

https://gopwomenforprogress.org

 

 

Follow RWFP on Twitter:

@RWFProgress

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/republicanwomenforprogress/

 

 

Donate to its Crowdpac page:

https://www.crowdpac.com/communities/rwfp

 

 

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!

Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Read Let America Vote’s Guide to Standing Up for Voting Rights

This OTYCD post originally appeared in August 2018.

 

Read Your Guide to Standing Up for Voting Rights, a document by Let America Vote.

 

We at OTYCD beat the pro-voting-rights drum long, loud, early, and often. We believe that any American who can vote and wants to vote, should vote, and that anything that makes it harder to vote should be defeated and removed.

 

We’d feel this way even if low voter turnout favored Democratic candidates. Voting–giving everyone a voice–is what sets democracy apart from other systems of government. Voting rights should be expanded, and voter suppression should be shamed out of existence.

 

We hope you feel the same way. Let America Vote, an organization founded by Jason Kander, a former secretary of state of Missouri and host of the Crooked Media podcast Majority 54, has created Your Guide to Standing Up for Voting Rights, a comprehensive overview of how to fight back.

 

It identifies voter suppression gambits to watch for, and explains why they’re bad. It also describes pro-voting policies to support, and explains why they’re good.

 

It also tells you which officials on the local, state, and federal levels have power over voting rights, and how best to make your voice heard.

 

As of mid-January 2018, the Let America Vote document hadn’t been updated to reflect the fact that Trump has disbanded the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, aka the voter fraud commission, and has asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take over some of its work. Still, if fighting voter suppression matters to you, make time to read the guide.

 

 

Download the PDF document, Your Guide to Standing Up for Voting Rights:

https://www.letamericavote.org/guide-standing-voting-rights/

 

 

Visit the Let America Vote page:

https://www.letamericavote.org

 

 

Learn about restrictive voting laws that might apply in your state:

https://www.letamericavote.org/states/

 

 

Like Let America Vote on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/letamericavote/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@LetAmericaVote

 

 

Apply to intern with Let America Vote:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc8QCrO26Rw_ciCPQSrfNEG8DuCCoZLAASK_ZsCIJ_s1YzAow/viewform

 

 

Volunteer to help Let America Vote:

https://secure.letamericavote.org/page/s/get-involved

 

 

Donate to Let America Vote:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/lav-main?recurring=true

 

 

Download and listen to the Majority 54 podcast:

https://crooked.com/podcast-series/majority-54/

 

 

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!