Community Activism

Help Children in Illinois Prisons by Donating to Liberation Library

This OTYCD post originally appeared in May 2018.

 

Help children serving sentences in Illinois prisons through Liberation Library, which gives them books.

 

Liberation Library is a volunteer-led group based in Chicago that serves children in prison and juvenile detention centers in Illinois. Its members ask the kids what they’d like to read, and gets those titles.

 

They believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. Twice a month, it hosts “packing days,” in which volunteers prep and mail books to young readers.

 

It also sends birthday cards to incarcerated children year-round, and holiday cards around Christmas.

 

 

See the Liberation Library webpage:

http://www.liberationlib.com

 

 

See its About page:

http://www.liberationlib.com/about.html

 

 

See its FAQ page, which includes advice on how to find a Liberation Library-type organization in your community, or set one up:

http://www.liberationlib.com/faqs.html

 

 

Sign up for its newsletter:

http://liberationlib.us10.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b3d1719ad4771efe8f1a9b022&id=a7c868d487&orig-lang=1

 

 

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 money or gently used books to Liberation Library (please check if the books are on LL’s Amazon Wishlist first):

http://www.liberationlib.com/donate.html

 

 

Donate birthday cards for use by Liberation Library, or purchase blank birthday cards from its Amazon Wishlist:

http://www.liberationlib.com/birthday-cards.html

 

 

If you live in or near Chicago, volunteer for Liberation Library:

http://www.liberationlib.com/volunteer.html

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/LiberationLibrary

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@liberationlib

Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Thank You Actions · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Support The Guardian, the Newspaper That Ben Jacobs Works For

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

Support The Guardian, the British paper that employs reporter Ben Jacobs. 

 

By now you’ve heard about how Greg Gianforte, Republican candidate for the open house seat representing all of Montana, snapped and attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. Jacobs is evidently OK and Gianforte has since been charged with a misdemeanor. (Gianforte also won the Congressional race.)

 

While we wish we had a more pleasant prompt, we’re taking it. The Guardian is a good newspaper, and has long been a good newspaper. It deserves your attention and your support.

 

Read the links below, and if you like it, become a supporter of The Guardian:

https://membership.theguardian.com/us/supporter?INTCMP=DOTCOM_HEADER_BECOMEMEMBER_US

 

Here’s Jacobs’s video report on his bizarre encounter with Gianforte:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/may/25/guardian-ben-jacobs-body-slam-video-greg-gianforte

 

Here’s the story Jacobs filed with The Guardian shortly before the infamous meeting:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/montana-special-election-gianforte-assault-charge-guardian

 

Here’s the story that Jacobs wrote that probably played a role in pissing off Gianforte:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/greg-gianforte-republican-candidate-congress-russia-companies

 

And here’s another story by others at The Guardian on the consequences that Gianforte suffered shortly after attacking Jacobs:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/newspapers-ditch-us-republican-charged-with-assaulting-guardian-reporter-montana

 

 

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia...

Support Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, a Descendant of Robert E. Lee Who Fights White Supremacy

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

 

Support Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, who has spoken out against white supremacy.

 

The young minister has advocated the removal of pro-Confederate statues and has spoken publicly about the need to confront racism and white supremacy directly and defeat it. He appeared at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, held about two weeks after the incident in Charlottesville, to voice his message.

 

Soon after, his North Carolina church, which he joined in April 2017, moved to vote on his tenure. He chose to resign in what appears to be a jumped-before-he-was-pushed situation. Evidently, several members were uncomfortable with his statements at the VMA.

 

Lee is not currently asking for donations, and he does not have a Patreon or anything similar. But you can show your support in other ways.

 

Follow his blog:

https://revroblee.com

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@roblee4

 

Read his statement on his resignation from his first church (video of his VMA speech is at the bottom of the page):

http://auburnseminary.org/rev-robert-wright-lee-iv-statement-leaving-church-speaking-white-supremacy-mtv-video-music-awards/

 

Read articles about Lee’s resignation of his post:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/05/us/robert-lee-iv-resigns-church-pastor-mtv-vma-confederate/index.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/05/548708431/lee-relative-who-denounced-white-supremacy-resigns-as-pastor-of-n-c-church?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

 

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!

 

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!

 

 

Community Activism · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

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

This OTYCD post originally appeared in April 2018.

 

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

 

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!

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.