The Bottom Fell Out…Now What?

Okay people. I have been thinking, talking to other smart people, reflecting in historical context and have come up with some concrete ideas through collaboration. I am going to try hard to keep my snarky anger at bay, so if some squeaks out sorry…ish, I’m sorry-ish.

Trump is a manifestation that began brewing after the wins of the Civil Rights Movement Baby Boomers fought hard for. After these wins, some of them sold us out, others became complacent while my generation (Gen X) was being raised and coming of age. We all have fallen into a political lethargy or malaise and got complacent on the job. So, we have work to do and a LOT of it. As I see it every single person who cast a vote for Trump voted for white supremacy, voted in favor of sexual assault and violence against women, voted for violence against a every marginalized group in this country, voted against our military…I can go on, but I will stop, if you’ve been paying attention to this circus show, you know. So here is the work I see before us now:

  1. Community mobilizing – we have to work within our communities and those nearby to get people involved. We must do this in safe ways and for people of color and other marginalized people, we need the help of our white allies who can bridge our work with their community.
  2. Teach-ins – this was an effective tool used by civil rights leaders to educate youth and community about key issues of the time. We need to have teach-ins to educate people on politics, history, multiculturalism, information literacy, etc…
  3. Identify and prepare people of color, women, and other social justice leaders to assume positions in politics from school boards to the presidency. And we need to start putting pressure on those already in those positions to run in the upcoming elections. And we have to start now – Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, Corey Booker?
  4. We have coalition building to do among and between every marginalized group and stop expending energy in bringing willfully ignorant white folks into the fold. They don’t want it and it only distracts from the work that needs to be done. We need to work beyond our differences, share our common areas, and compromise. Every group has their own story and pain, but until we can come together, we are going to keep getting this crap sandwich while being told how good it is for us.
  5. We need to identify people in other communities with areas of specialization to share with us, teach us, guide us, provide us tutelage in their skills.
  6. We need self defense lessons with and without weapons. The threat is real. Trump supporters are already emboldened and please remember he has the full support of the KKK and neo-Nazi groups as well as a blank check from Congress, if you don’t know the history of these domestic terrorist organizations, please research them. Stories of violence are already springing up.
  7. We simply must work to protect the vulnerable people in our friend groups and communities as best we can. Reach out, check in, offer to walk with them at night, provide rides, stand with them whenever and wherever we can.
  8. Hold the media accountable to move beyond the sensationalism. The media helped Trump win this election. They spent more time on Hillary’s emails and a nonexistent scandal than on Trump’s child rape case, his RICO and racketeering case, his business practice about not paying those who did work for him and drove mom and pops type businesses to the brink of bankruptcy. The media is complicit in this mess we now find ourselves in.
  9. We need to vet the information we choose to pass on through our networks. Information literacy is absolutely key. We must hold ourselves accountable and we must intervene with our friends and family when they post nonsense.
  10. We must explore how to dismantle the Electoral College.
  11. We keep working to carry on some of the legacy that President Obama and Vice President Biden have set out to eliminate sexual assault.
  12. And finally, for our white allies, it is on you to educate members of your community and bring them along. This job has too often fell on the marginalized. We do not have time or energy to be dealing with ignorance. We have actual work to do and need your help to do it. That means that you need to navigate your own communities and educate where you can – be bridge builders for us. Many members of white groups do not want to hear from us, do not believe us, do not hear us, and never have to engage with us on any meaningful level if they choose not to. We cannot build the bridge from there. This work falls on you, our white allies.
Right now, this is what I am thinking. This is not an all inclusive list and is not meant to be exclusionary. We have actual work to do if we want things to get better. 2020 is only 4 years away and we must start this work now. There is no time to waste. I hope Trump can rise to the challenge of being President of the most powerful nation the world has known and do so with some sort of integrity. But right now the only thing we have to judge his character on is his many years in the public eye and his campaign, I will not hold my breath, I will brace myself for the fight of my life for all of our futures. What would you add to our to do list?

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