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:


Read its excellent guide, Responding to Everyday Bigotry:


See its Hatewatch page:


Like it on Facebook:


Follow it on Twitter:



Donate to the SPLC:



Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Leave Your House

This OTYCD entry originally posted in August 2017.

If you’re going to effectively push back against Trump, you have to commit to leaving your house more than you might like. 


Robert Putnam’s 2001 book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, is a classic for good reason. He traces how civic and community engagement started falling in the 70s or so and continued to drop. He also examines many factors that might have contributed to the decline (increased TV-watching and longer commutes seem to matter). The data he gathers shows that the generation who lived through World War II were the last exceptionally engaged group of Americans. Their children (commonly called the Baby Boomers) somehow failed to follow their example, and the generations that followed the Boomers were even less engaged. This is a problem because widespread civic engagement is the gasoline that fuels democracy–it can’t function without it.


In a subsequent 2010 paper published in the Journal of Democracy, titled Still Bowling Alone? The Post 9/11 Split, Putnam and his co-author, Thomas H. Sander, note that people who were young during the 9/11 attacks–from elementary school to college-age–show more civic involvement. This is good news. (Scroll down for a link to this paper.)


Cataclysmic events that affect everyone, such as World War II and 9/11, seem to have a lasting impact in the form of greater civic engagement among those who live through them. Let’s be dead clear on this–the Trump administration is not on the order of those events, but the 2016 election shocked and mobilized millions of people into action, or into becoming more active than they had been.


Bowling Alone appeared in August 2001, before social media really took hold, but the book makes it clear that routine face-to-face engagement with other human beings is absolutely vital to the survival of democracy. This doesn’t mean that social media lacks value. It means that its greatest value is in cementing and enhancing relationships that also exist in the real world.


Which brings us to the headline of this post: Leave your house. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve done that already, if only to join the big national and international protests that happened throughout 2017. But you need to think about leaving your house on a semi-regular basis to push back against Trump. You need to show up and contribute to groups devoted to that cause, and you need to cultivate friendships that you make in those groups.


Putnam notes that the Rotarians, the Lions Club, the Odd Fellows, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and similar organizations were hemorrhaging members as the 20th century yielded to the 21st. If we work at it, we can ensure that the new anti-Trump groups–the Indivisibles, the Solidarities, and other local coalitions–rise to take their place and keep the garden of democracy watered and nourished.


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!



Purchase and read Bowling Alone:



Read Putnam and Sander’s 2010 paper, which serves as a hopeful update to Bowling Alone:

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support the Heather Heyer Foundation

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

Support the Heather Heyer Foundation, a non-profit set up in the name of the counter-protester who died in the motor vehicle terrorist attack in Charlottesville. 

Heyer was the sole fatality in the attack, which took place on August 12, 2017. She was 32 years old. The last message she posted to social media before her death was “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” and that message is at the top of the foundation page, which is bordered in purple, her favorite color.

The foundation provides scholarships and funds to people who are passionate about positive social change, as Heather was. Scholarships will go primarily to those seeking degrees or certifications in the fields of law, paralegal studies (Heyer was a paralegal), social justice, social work, and education.


See the web site for the Heather Heyer Foundation:


Donate to the Heather Heyer Foundation:


Send letters of support to the HHF:


Learn how to apply for the annual scholarships in her name for paralegal studies (deadline is February 15):


Read a moving piece about Heather Heyer, the last day of her life, and how her friends remember her:


And here’s another strong one, published by the Guardian in October 2017:

Escape Your Bubble · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Show Some Love to, the First Fact-Checking Site on the Web (Updated March 13, 2018)

Update, March 13, 2018: David Mikkelson posted an update to the Snopes GoFundMe page last night. Fortunately, Snopes has had success in court to date. They recovered the advertising revenue that had been withheld, they were able to switch to a new hosting service and reassert control of their future ad revenue, and suits against Mikkelson were dismissed last month.


In response to questions about how to show support for Snopes going forward, Mikkelson raised the cap on the GoFundMe to $2 million. Legal fees have eaten the funds raised previously, and while things have gone well, they’re not done with the court system just yet. If you can help Snopes, please do.


Original text of our post follows:


We wrote and queued this post before word broke of’s troubles and its GoFundMe campaign. We are moving up the posting date for this piece and including a link to the fundraiser:


As we write this update, the campaign has met its $500,000 goal but is still accepting donations. If you haven’t given, please do.


Let’s hear it for, the first, and still the most fascinating, fact-checking, myth-busting, rumor-stomping site on the web.


Snopes dates back to 1994, which is paleozoic by Internet standards. It evolved over time from being the work of a few people to the work of an entire team of researchers and writers who strive to be transparent and accurate, following the evidence wherever it leads.


We at OTYCD believe that the country passed a dark threshold when rabid right-wingers started claiming that Snopes had a liberal bias, and other such ridiculous things. In retrospect, it seems like a portent of the rise of Trumpism. But we digress.


Snopes, which is named after a family of characters who pop up in William Faulkner novels, is as incisive as it is entertaining, and you should visit it on the regular if you don’t already. It can save you from retweeting or posting information that’s more complex than the memes make it out to be, or just plain wrong, no matter where it comes from.



See the site:



Read the Snopes ‘About’ page:



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!



Read the Snopes FAQ page:



Like it on Facebook:



Follow it on Twitter:


Community Activism · Vote with your Dollars

Support Black-Owned Businesses

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.


Support black-owned businesses, both in your community and across the country.


The Support Black Owned (SBO) website offers a search engine that will help you find black-owned businesses in your state.  Black-owned businesses are almost always small businesses of the sort that comprise the fabric of a community. When you need to buy goods and services, please check your state listing at SBO first and see if someone there can meet your needs.


See the SBO website (scroll to the bottom for the state links; they’re on the right):



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!



Like the SBO Facebook page:



Follow SBO on Twitter:




Connect with SBO on LinkedIn:

Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

GOOD UPDATE! Democrat Andrew Zwicker WON RE-ELECTION to the New Jersey State Legislature

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.


YES YES YES! Democrat Andrew Zwicker won re-election to the New Jersey state legislature! Read more here:



Original text of the post follows.


Help re-elect Democrat Andrew Zwicker to the New Jersey state legislature. The election takes place on November 7, 2017.


In addition to spotlighting five Virginia state-level candidates chosen by Flippable for the upcoming race in November, we at OTYCD are also devoting posts to six candidates chosen by 314 Action whose races fall in 2017. 314 Action is an organization that boosts hopefuls who have STEM backgrounds.


Zwicker was first elected to the New Jersey legislature in January 2016, where he serves on the Judiciary Committee as well as the committees for regulated professions and also for telecommunications and utilities. 314 Action helped him then, and is helping him now. He is the only scientist currently serving in the New Jersey legislature. In addition, he is the first Democrat ever to represent his district. He beat his Republican rival by just 78 votes.


Zwicker holds a Ph.d in physics from Johns Hopkins University and is the Head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society and edits the organization’s newsletter.


In the legislature, he works to make college more affordable and to expand access to pre-K. He accepts climate change and wants the state to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative, in which nine states joined forces to reduce climate-harming emissions. He wants to make sure that laws protecting the environment are enforced. And in all things, he will bring the rigor of a scientist, making decisions based on facts and evidence.



See his campaign website:



See his About Andrew page:



See his Issues page:



Donate to Zwicker’s campaign:



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!



Like Zwicker on Facebook:



Follow him on Twitter:




See his profile page on the New Jersey Legislature website:



See Zwicker’s page at 314 Action:



See 314 Action’s Endorsed Candidates page:



Donate to 314 Action:,25,50,100,250,500,1000&amount=25&recurring=true

Call Your House Rep · Elections

Ask Your House Rep to Support Mike Quigley’s Amendment to Fund the Election Assistance Commission

Ask your House Rep to get behind Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley’s amendment to the appropriations bill that would restore funds to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC).


The Republicans have tried to kill the EAC for several years now, but finally succeeded in February, voting to zero out its funding by the end of 2018–even as it was becoming increasingly clear that Russia meddled with the 2016 presidential election. The EAC is an independent body that serves state and local election officials and sets security standards for voting machines.


Yes, you read that right. The House, specifically the House Administration Committee, voted 6-3 to kill the EAC. (You get one guess about how many Republicans and Democrats the committee has.)


Quigley’s amendment would allocate $9.2 million to the commission.


Is your House Rep Mike Quigley? Then call and thank him and tell him you’ve got his back in 2018.


Otherwise try this sample script: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code), and I am asking you to back the amendment that your colleague, Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley, added to the appropriations bill on June 29 that would restore funding to the Election Assistance Commission. The EAC is the only independent body of its kind, providing help to state and local election officials and setting security standards for voting machines. We need the EAC now more than ever, given what we now know about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Please support Quigley’s effort to allocate $9.2 million for the EAC.



Read about Quigley’s amendment here:



Read about the House vote to kill the EAC:



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!



Read about why we need the EAC:



Visit the EAC’s website:



Follow the EAC on Twitter: