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See Tokyo Sand’s Comprehensive List of Who’s Retiring from Congress

See Tokyo Sand’s comprehensive list of who’s retiring from Congress ahead of the 2018 elections.

 

Tokyo Sand is behind Political Charge, an amazingly helpful blog devoted to engaging American voters and getting them out to vote.

 

In mid-March, the blog published a comprehensive list of all the members of Congress who have retired or resigned and won’t run again in 2018.

 

It breaks the individuals out by party, chamber, and how their districts or states voted in the 2016 presidential election.

 

 

See the Political Charge blog post on all the retirements from Congress as of March 16, 2018:

Who’s Retiring From Congress?

 

 

See the main Political Charge webpage (scroll down to find the subscribe button on the lower right):

https://politicalcharge.org

 

 

Follow Tokyo Sand on Twitter:

@DHStokyo

 

 

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

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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Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

Follow Mike Stuchbery, an Australian-born historian in Britain, on Twitter and other venues.

Stuchbery made waves in late July by brutally schooling the editor of Infowars on the ethnic makeup of Roman Britain (Infowars guy assumed it wasn’t; Stuchbery showed him just how diverse it was).

Stuchbery has since gone on to destroy alt-right nitwits on the regular. He does not suffer fools gladly. Indeed, he’s got a talent for making fools suffer. His comments on history are worth reading regardless. Check him out.

 

Follow Mike Stuchbery on Twitter:

@MikeStuchbery_

 

Read and subscribe to his blogs:

https://mikestuchberydotnet.wordpress.com

http://mike-stuchbery.org

 

Contribute to his Patreon (Stuchbery promises, “I will not just take the first month’s payment and buy a pet lizard. I will tell right-wing dickheads to get fucked at every opportunity.” As of mid-September, he’s $103 shy of his $500/month goal):

https://www.patreon.com/mikestuchbery_

 

Read about how he schooled that twerp from Infowars:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/alt-right-commentator-gets-schooled-historian-diversity-roman/

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/british-historian-gives-alt-right-commentator-a-history-lesson

 

If you need more proof that he’s a good guy, read about how he was pushing back against school bullying in 2014:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-30222229

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

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

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

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

 

 

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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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Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2017.

 

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.

 

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

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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