These are dark times and we need to be prepared to resist the new administration’s cuts to social programs; restrictions of rights for women, people of color and others; and many other abominations that are ahead. Just in these first few days we’ve gotten a glimpse of the dangers ahead with a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and calls to defund Planned Parenthood.
Among the topics discussed were:
- Stop Fake News
- Support Your Local Abortion Fund
- Diversify Your Media
- Fight Ignorance
- Offer Your Skills
The first resistance tactic discussed was to get in touch with your representatives. The host, Sarah Mirk interviewed Zahir Janmohamed, the host of the podcast Racist Sandwich (I can’t wait to bite into this one) who previously worked as a congressional staffer and as the advocacy director for Amnesty International. His advice:
Don’t stop sharing ideas on Twitter and Facebook; they’re important organizing tools, says Janmohamed. But they’re a “firehose” of information when it comes to weighing in on politics, and a lot of members of Congress don’t follow the discussions about policies that are trending. The best way to get representatives to actually respond, says Janmohamed, is to go old school: look up your Congressperson and write an actual letter.
Other suggestions include calling members of Congress or writing a personal email if you don’t have time to write a letter. He also advised that all members of Congress use Google Alerts, so if you mention them in a blog post they will see it.
The least effective way to share your opinions, says Janmohamed: online petitions. “If we’d get 10,000 of those form letters, we’d count those as one correspondence,” he says. But if a constituent wrote in with a personal note, saying who they are and specifically what they want, a staffer would always read it and take notice.
The last of the resistance ideas was to Talk About Racism. Sarah interviewed Heather Cronk, codirector of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), which is focused on getting white people to talk with other white people about race.
“We are obsessed with organizing white folks to organize around racial justice,” says Cronk. She urges white people to bring up issues like Trump’s appointment of white supremacists, the need for groups like Black Lives Matter, and the way mass deportations hurt communities even when it feels awkward.
“Something a lot of white folks get hung up on is not only feeling uncomfortable having that conversation, but feeling like you have to get it exactly right. We encourage people to just do it anyway,”
SURJ created some talking points and primers on how to have these conversations. She suggested starting by asking family members why they voted for Trump and then lead into a discussion about policies.
“What we know doesn’t work is avoiding conversations about race, class, and gender, and about how all of those things intersect…. Let’s create space for folks to air, ‘Here’s why I’m afraid.’ Then we have an opportunity to dispel that. It does us no good to pretend that doesn’t exist. Let’s air it, so then we can help pull it apart.”
There were some excellent suggestions in this podcast, I hope one or more of them prompts you to get involved and join the Resistance to Trump and the new Congress. I’ll see you in the streets on January 21.