If you are like me, not only were you surprised but also appalled by the ascent of a man who ran a campaign fueled by xenophobia, sexism and racism to the highest office in our land. Also, if you’re like me Trump’s election symbolized the rejection of the notion that equality is for all by a majority of the population. Now don’t get me wrong as a black woman who often deals with prejudice, I’m not ignorant of the fact that America is far from being a place where everyone is judged by the content of their character as the legendary Dr. King espoused. Indeed America is still a country riddled with institutional racism and sexism. However, I was also under the impression that despite America’s significant flaws, we as a society had collectively decided to embrace Dr. King’s premonition of bending the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
Turns out, that’s not the case. Trump’s election made it clear that there is significant dissent to Dr. King’s and my vision of America. Even those who claim that Trump’s prejudice alone was not the impetus for his supporters, it’s clear that prejudice was not a deal breaker. I find this unacceptable and so do millions of people as shown by the Women’s March after the presidential inauguration. Like many who attended the March I vowed to myself that this would only be the beginning. The Women’s March showed me the importance of solidarity and since then I have been an active resister. I’ve attended marches to protest the Muslim ban, the revival of the DAPL and the Keystone XL pipeline. I’ve religiously read and shared articles about Trump’s cabinet nominees, executive orders and conflict of interest. After two weeks, I’m exhausted; being a resister isn’t easy. Especially if you are an amateur.
This weekend I missed the second march to protest the Muslim ban; due to over-straining myself my feet problems have returned with a vengeance preventing me for standing or walking for long periods of time. When I missed the march this weekend, I felt really guilty at first because I felt like was betraying the cause. However, as I looked at the pictures that my husband sent me from the protest, I realized that there are so many of us out there and I don’t have to kill myself to do everything. The most important thing is to do something every day. If all of us do that we will be okay. What is not okay is if all of us run ourselves to the ground from doing too much within the first couple of months. That will fizzle out the resistance and we just can’t afford that. This is the time to embrace the cliché; it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
If you are still struggling to find what to do, here are some actions you can take every to ensure that we are resisting an agenda that seeks to rollback our efforts towards equality for all and destroy our planet.
Call your representatives every day. This works. Remember when the GOP dropped their plan to relieve themselves of the ethics committee? Yes that was because of phone calls from people like you. If you don’t know who to call or what to say, don’t worry there’s site for that. 5 Calls is one of them. They want to help you make five calls to your representatives in five minutes. The site also lists and explains the issue for you so you are an informed constituent.
Donate to organizations committed to fighting any policies that oppress anyone or destroy our environment. I chose to donate the ACLU because our Department of Justice will no longer ensure justice for all and we need an Alt Department of Justice to do so; ACLU has done a great job so far.
Pick some marches to attend. As we all saw from the Women’s March, a large number of people showing up to protest makes a significant statement.
Give yourself a break and take care of yourself. The resistance needs you!