Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia...

Help Life After Hate Help People Who Leave the Violent Far-Right

Help Life After Hate help people who leave violent far-right extremist groups.

Founded in 2011, the Chicago nonprofit directly helps people who want to deradicalize and leave their old ways behind through its EXITUSA program.

It also runs the Against Violent Extremism (AVE) network, a squad of former violent extremists and survivors who combat the groups’ propaganda and help steer vulnerable youths away from them.

Note: Since we wrote the original text of this post, Samantha Bee devoted an August 2017 episode of her show to Life After Hate. It also launched a crowdfunding campaign to replace the $400,000 grant that Obama promised, but which Trump took away. Links to stories about the rescinded grant, the crowdfunding campaign, and the Samantha Bee episode have been included below.

 

Visit the Life After Hate website:

https://www.lifeafterhate.org

 

Read a Guardian story about one of its leaders, Tony McAleer, who once belonged to the White Aryan Resistance:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/04/life-after-hate-groups-neo-fascism-racism

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/lifeafterhate

 

Follow Life After Hate on Twitter:

@lifeafterhate

 

Donate to Life After Hate:

https://www.lifeafterhate.org/donate

 

See the page for the crowdfunding campaign started after the Trump administration refused to fulfill the $400,000 grant promised under Obama. As of October 14, 2017, it had raised more than $460,000 and was still accepting donations:

https://publicgood.com/org/life-after-hate-inc/campaign/help-life-after-hate-fight-on

 

Read stories about the episode that Samantha Bee did on Life After Hate following the Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville:

Sam Bee Looks to Aid Reformed Neo-Nazi Group Life After Hate in Wake of Charlottesville

http://time.com/money/4904718/samantha-bee-is-helping-raise-money-for-a-group-that-rehabs-white-supremacists-after-trump-cut-its-funding/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Ethics · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Read There Is No Good Card For This: What to Say and Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love

Read There Is No Good Card for This: What to Say and Do When Life is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love, by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

 

TINGCFT might seem like a not-quite-on-topic choice for a political blog, but bear with us. It’s a great textbook on how to have awkward conversations, how to listen, and how not to be a jerk–skills that are ever more precious and valuable in the time of Trump.

 

McDowell is the genius behind a series of greeting cards that you’d actually want to send to someone who’s going through hell but still has a sense of humor. Crowe holds a doctorate in social welfare, and founded Help Each Other Out, which teaches people how to avoid being the person who ghosts or says and does unhelpful things when bad stuff happens to friends and family.

 

The whole book is a gem, but in particular, it goes over how to help people in the grip of illness, fertility issues, divorce, unemployment, and grief.

 

Some general takeaways:

 

It’s better to do something than nothing. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is doing something.

Remember it’s about them, not you. Don’t make their problem about you.

Listen.

Your kindness is your credential.

The person who needs help may not respond to your overture the way you’d expect. Don’t hold that against them, and don’t let their response deter you from helping others.

 

 

Buy There Is No Good Card for This at great independent book stores such as The Strand or Powell’s:

http://www.strandbooks.com/index.cfm

http://www.powells.com/book/there-is-no-good-card-for-this-9780062469991/1-5

 

 

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Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and Typically Republican Voters Who Plan to Vote for Democrats In 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and typically Republican voters who plan to vote for Democrats in 2018.

 

We live in weird times. We have a manifestly unfit person sitting in the Oval Office. The second that Trump finished the oath of office on Inauguration Day 2017, his business entanglements put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, making him impeachable.

 

Still more evidence for impeachment has piled up since then, but the Republican-controlled Congress hasn’t started to begin to consider thinking about bestirring itself to do its job and remove Trump from office.

 

Once upon a time, Republicans did the right thing and threatened President Richard Nixon with impeachment over the Watergate scandal, prompting him to resign. Today, tribalism is stopping the Republicans from doing the right thing with Donald Trump. It’s shameful. History will judge them harshly for it, and so will voters.

 

Some Alabamians who normally vote Republican realized that staying home would not be enough during the December 2017 special election for Senate. Some–admittedly a minority–went to the polls and voted Democrat for the first time in their lives to do their bit to stop Republican Roy Moore from winning.

 

People across the country who don’t normally vote for Democrats are coming to the same conclusion that Republicans in Alabama did. They’re watching Trump’s antics, and watching Congress do nothing, and realizing they have to act by voting for candidates who will do what their party will not.

 

They’re starting to speak up publicly as well. Consider this March 2018 piece from The Atlantic, by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, of Lawfare, who both describe themselves as “true independents”. Bluntly titled Boycott the Republican Party, it counsels Americans to methodically vote for Democrats to send a message to the GOP in hopes of getting it to straighten up and fly right (pun not intended):

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

Key quote:

“So we arrive at a syllogism:

(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

If the syllogism holds, then the most-important tasks in U.S. politics right now are to change the Republicans’ trajectory and to deprive them of power in the meantime. In our two-party system, the surest way to accomplish these things is to support the other party, in every race from president to dogcatcher. The goal is to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.”

 

On June 7, 2018, the Washington Post reported on a poll that shows that around a quarter of Republicans favor candidates who will act as a check on Trump.

Here’s the piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

And here’s the key passage:

“Perhaps the most interesting part of this poll, though, is that more than a quarter of Republicans want candidates who will act as a check on Trump. On net, Republicans were 11 points more likely to say that they would be turned off by a candidate acting as a check on Trump, but it’s still the case that 27 percent would be encouraged to vote for a candidate willing to check Trump. That even as Republicans support candidates who support Trump on policy issues. By more than 60 percentage points, Republicans are more likely to support candidates that stand with Trump on taxes and immigration. But they’re nearly split on candidates who stand up to Trump generally.”

 

And since we at OTYCD drafted and queued this piece, more longtime GOP supporters have publicly defected and called for others to join them.

 

Steve Schmidt, a high-ranking GOP strategist who helped elect George W. Bush, worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign in California, quit the party. On June 19, 2018, he tweeted (and it’s now his pinned tweet):

29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.

 

Read stories on Schmidt quitting the Republican Party:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veteran-republican-strategist-steve-schmidt-renounces-gop/2018/06/20/7bcf53fe-74c7-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.872cc10a5f60

https://www.yahoo.com/news/steve-schmidt-helped-run-republican-212844307.html

 

 

On June 22, 2018, prominent conservative George Will, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977, put out a blunt column installment in the Washington Post titled Vote Against the GOP This November.

 

He hasn’t decided he likes the Democrats. He doesn’t, and he won’t. His call to vote Democrat this fall is intended as the corrective Trump needs, and which the GOP-controlled Congress has been too feckless to give. Here’s the final paragraph from the piece:

 

“In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.”

 

 

Read Will’s full column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/vote-against-the-gop-this-november/2018/06/22/a6378306-7575-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?utm_term=.97ccad43bccf

 

 

This is where you come in.

 

If you know someone who doesn’t normally vote for Democrats, but who gets that they must in 2018 in order to right the GOP and provide a check on Trump, you need to be welcoming and gracious toward them.

 

In other words, don’t be an asshole, and be extra-careful not to come off as an asshole to these people.

 

Don’t assume they’ve gone all liberal and progressive because they’re going to vote for Democrats this fall. They haven’t.

 

Respect the fact that these folks wouldn’t vote this way under normal circumstances.

 

Respect the fact that they think differently about politics than you, and respect the fact that they’re doing what needs to be done for the sake of our country, and our democracy.

 

Also, keep your interactions pleasant and fun. Don’t bring up politics unless they do, and if they do bring up politics, let them lead the conversation. Be supportive. Commiserate.

 

After Labor Day, start talking about plans to go to the polls together. Offer a ride. Offer to have lunch or buy a drink after you both vote. If it makes sense, offer child care or offer to cover a shift for your friend if it will help them reach the polls on November 6, 2018.

 

Also, do not say “Thank you”. Seriously. It’s not appropriate because it could be read as insulting.

 

Think about it–should you get a cookie for stepping up and blocking a wannabe dictator from destroying our democracy? No, it’s the right thing to do. If someone has decided it’s time to cast a punitive vote against their home party, they would definitely be offended at the notion that they deserve praise for doing it.

 

Instead, you can say, “I look forward to the days when we can go back to disagreeing with each other.”

 

If you want to show lasting gratitude to those who don’t normally vote for Democrats, but are doing so to send a message to the GOP, you can do this:

 

You can promise to listen to them.

 

Not just now, in the breach, but going forward, too.

 

Listening to them does not mean agreeing with them. It does mean making a good-faith effort to hear out those who don’t share your view of politics, and trying to understand them.

 

 

Here, again is the March 2018 piece from The Atlantic that urges Republicans to boycott the GOP and vote for Democrats:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

 

And here, again, is the June 2018 Washington Post story on the poll on what sort of candidates Americans are likely to support in the midterms. In addition to 25 percent of Republicans favoring candidates who would provide a check on Trump, the story says that voters, in general, were 25 percentage points more likely to vote for a candidate who promised to push back against the president:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

 

Read December 2017 stories from Newsweek and the Washington Post on how Republican affiliation has fallen by five points since Trump was elected:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-scaring-voters-republican-affiliation-dips-year-election-poll-730604

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/11/a-lot-of-americans-spent-2017-bailing-on-the-republican-party/?utm_term=.d6e51e7a9cc0

 

 

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Action Alerts · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Support Spread the Vote, Which Helps Citizens Obtain IDs

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Support Spread the Vote, an organization that helps citizens access the ballot by obtaining IDs that their states require.

 

Republicans have noticed that they are more likely to win when fewer voters turn out. For this reason, they have embraced anti-democratic (small d) moves such as placing restrictions and qualifications on access to the ballot. Requiring prospective voters to present specific forms of identification is a favorite of theirs.

 

Voter ID laws suck, and they constitute the modern version of a poll tax. It hits the poor, the working class, the elderly, the young, and minorities particularly hard.

 

Some lack the documents they need to obtain ID, and cannot muster the money needed to hunt down those documents. Some can’t get the time off work to stand in line at City Hall or the DMV to straighten things out. Some are college students, whose college IDs are not generally accepted, and who receive conflicting information about where they can vote (home or on campus).

 

Enter Spread the Vote. Its mission is to help people get the documents they need to access the ballot. According to its numbers, 21 million people lack a government-issued photo ID, and 31 states require some form of ID to vote.

 

By helping Spread the Vote, you help expand the pool of eligible voters and defeat bullshit obstacles thrown up by Republicans who find it easier to frustrate citizens rather than develop ideas and policies that people would want to vote for.

 

Spread the Vote is and has conducted state-specific projects in Virginia and Georgia, but its scope is nation-wide. Please encourage their good work in whatever manner you can.

 

 

See Spread the Vote’s webpage:

https://www.spreadthevote.org

 

 

Ask for its help with obtaining an ID so you can vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/vote/

 

 

Volunteer for Spread the Vote:

https://www.spreadthevote.org/volunteer/

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SpreadTheVoteUS

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@SpreadTheVoteUS

 

 

Donate to Spread the Vote:

https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=58727f25f7e0ab8a674b88bb

 

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Action Alerts · Candidates · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Support Build the Wave, Which Gets Grassroots Volunteers Involved in Critical 2018 Races

Support Build the Wave, an organization that gets grassroots volunteers involved in critical 2018 races.

 

Build the Wave is yet another org created by campaign veterans who are doing an end run around the standing but rusty and expensive traditional political infrastructure and getting real people involved in races across America that need their help.

 

It’s all about the grassroots–the small-dollar donors, the digital activists, the tech-savvy, and the countless alarmed folks who want to do their bit to defend small-d democracy in the wake of Trump’s 2016 election.

 

Build the Wave’s clearest high-profile result was the narrow special election victory of Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania in March. Almost 250 of its volunteers sent more than 94,000 texts encouraging folks to vote. Its texting campaign reached a third of all of those who cast their ballots for Lamb. Its Facebook ads reached about 23,000, and its Lamb-related Twitter posts got more than 3 million impressions.

 

 

Visit the webpage for Build the Wave:

https://www.buildthewave.org

 

 

Learn how Build the Wave contributed to Conor Lamb’s victory:

https://www.buildthewave.org/conor-lamb

 

 

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 Build the Wave:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/az-poll?refcode=website

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@BuildTheWave

Candidates · Elections · Vote with your Dollars

Support Democrat Zach Wahls’s Campaign to Become an Iowa State Senator

Support Zach Wahls, a Democrat who’s running for a seat in Iowa’s state senate.

 

Wahls, the son of lesbian parents, gained national prominence in 2011 when he defended gay marriage in a speech before the Judiciary Committee of the Iowa House of Representatives. Footage of his speech became the most-watched political video on YouTube that year.

 

He co-founded Scouts for Equality, a non-profit that successfully urged the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policies on gay scouts and volunteers. (Wahls is an Eagle Scout.)

 

Now 26, he’s running for to represent Iowa’s 37th in its state senate.

 

He won his early June primary and will face a Libertarian incumbent on November 6, 2018. If he wins, he’d be Iowa’s youngest state senator.

 

Wahls hopes to improve mental health services in his state and hopes to restore full funding to Planned Parenthood. He opposes the Trump-GOP attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act in part because it would devastate rural hospitals. He’s a Moms Demand Action Gun Sense candidate.

 

He supports collective bargaining rights and a higher minimum wage. He decries the actions of Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE) and opposes its attempts to deputize Iowa police. He favors affordable college tuition and universal pre-K. He would boost efforts to improve Iowa’s water quality and maintain its role as a wind energy producer.

 

See Wahls’s campaign site:

https://www.zachwahlsforiowa.com

 

 

See his Meet Zach page:

https://www.zachwahlsforiowa.com/meet-zach/

 

 

See his Issues page:

https://www.zachwahlsforiowa.com/issues/

 

 

Donate to his campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/zachwahlsforiowa?refcode=website&auto=&amount=50

 

Buy his campaign merch:

https://store.zachwahlsforiowa.com

 

 

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!

 

 

Like Wahls on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/zach.wahls/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@zachwahls

 

 

Read a 2011 article about Wahls’s speech before the Iowa legislature:

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/zach-wahls-son-lesbians-speech-anti-gay-legislators/story?id=12832200

 

Read a June 2018 piece about his primary win:

https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/after-primary-win-zach-wahls-is-one-step-closer-to-becoming-iowas-youngest-state-senator/

 

Community Activism · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Support the Efforts of Let America Vote

This OTYCD entry originally posted in November 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Support the efforts of Let America Vote, which fights attempts to make it harder for Americans to cast a ballot.

 

It’s disturbing to think that any political party in the United States sees lowering voter turnout as a positive strategy, but that is exactly the current attitude of the GOP. They have noticed that their candidates do better when fewer people come out, and they have pursued policies, such as voter ID legislation, which make it harder for people to vote.

 

The election of Donald Trump promises to make things worse. Losing the popular vote by three million votes clearly wounded his ego, so much so that on May 11 he launched the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Its co-leaders are Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a notorious fan of laws that restrict access to the ballot.

 

We need to push back against voter suppression, hard and often. Two out of five eligible citizens did not vote in November 2016. In order to strengthen democracy and undo the damage of Trump and the Republicans, we need to encourage non-voters to come out and exercise their rights–not just for presidential elections, but for primaries, mid-terms, and special elections. Trump fans and devoted Republicans have no interest in fixing the larger problem. We need to invite and recruit citizens who rarely or never vote.

 

Let America Vote helps the cause by fighting attempts to make it harder for people to vote. This takes the form of fighting restrictive bills and laws; questioning purges of voter rolls; and fighting those who try to intimidate voters.

 

 

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/

 

 

Read Let America Vote’s statement against Republican Karen Handel’s fundraising email that cited her outrage over citizens of Georgia’s 6th District gaining more time to register to vote:

https://www.letamericavote.org/news/2017/jason-kander-statement-karen-handels-outrage-eligible-georgia-voters-allowed-register-vote/

 

 

Read its statement on Trump’s task force on voter fraud:

https://www.letamericavote.org/news/2017/let-america-vote-statement-executive-order-creating-task-force-investigating-voter-fraud/

 

 

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

 

 

Read about Trump’s voter fraud commission, the reputation of Kris Kobach, and the GOP’s inclination to suppress the vote:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/05/kris_kobach_is_leading_trump_s_vote_fraud_commission_that_s_terrifying.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-gops-stealth-war-against-voters-w435890

 

 

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