Friday, November 18, 2016

This Aint Trump Country - Beyond the Safety Pin, Part 1


This is not defeat. I am not done fighting. I will not live in #TrumpCountry, and you won't either if we keep fighting together. Those of us who value kindness, love, and compassion above political party allegiances, WE have courage. WE are a force. WE have a whole lot of fight left.

Michigan gay couple reports hate note from "Trump Country."
photo credit: mlive.com
Let's go #BeyondTheSafetyPin. Yes, that safety pin is a fabulous symbol of solidarity and a possible message of comfort for those who need it, so thank you for wearing them. Please ignore the haters, and keep wearing them. But the haters are right about one thing - we need more. Wear those pins if for no other reason than to be a reminder for yourself and those around you that our fight is not over. It's just beginning.

Our nation needs action. Let's turn that safety pin into a badge, a promise. The pin should mean "You are safe with me AND I'm actively fighting for you." Make it mean more than "here's my pin, and that’s all I can do." Don't wear the pin unless you are willing to fight!
We are not done. Too many acts of hate have happened around the nation since the election, many citing that "this is Trump Country now."

I say, like fucking hell it is!


I will not live in Trump Country, no matter who our president is. I will fight with every fiber of my being to help ensure that my little corner of the nation is better than that. And so should you.

To prove that you are willing to do more with that safety pin than give out one-armed hugs, to prove that we stand for what is right and for our fellow humans; here's what you can actually do right now:


1. THE BIG ONE - Plead with the Electoral College

This is the longest of long shots, but it’s the one chance we have of a 45th POTUS who is not Trump. We need to convince at least 37 members of the electoral college who have pledged to vote for Trump on December 19th to flip their vote to Hillary, or write in someone else's name, or not vote at all. In this election, a #FaithlessElector is a #MoralElector. In all honesty, a faithless elector has never changed the outcome of presidential election. Then again, no one thought Trump would actually become president, so stranger things have happened, people. This election has been full of what-the-fucks. So if pleading with the electoral college is going to have an impact, now's the time.

We need more than signatures on a petition for this. We need voices, phone calls, emails, letters, action. You can read more in Part 2 of this post about the electoral college, what needs to happen now, who to contact, and what to say the electors. Please, please, please take action here first.


2. Sign your name

There are numerous petitions going around right now. This one begs the electoral college not to elect Trump.

This one asks the Senate to allow Obama to hurry and appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court before Trump takes office.

This is one is a cry against Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon, a known White Nationalist, to the role of Chief White House Strategist. For extra fuel to your fire, Bannon was also accused of domestic violence in 1996 for grabbing his wife by the throat. As if that were not enough, here is a helpful summary of headlines from Breitbart, Bannon's alt-right "news" website. AND here’s a little background on Bannon, Breibart, and the sudden uprising of the alt-right movement.

Do you hate Bannon yet? If not, check your moral compass. If you voted for Trump, realize you also voted for Bannon and all of this #scaryAF alt-right fallout, and this is your opportunity to try to fix this shit.

Sign these petitions, share them, cry out from the rooftops about them. Shit's getting real.

3. Contact your local congress reps
Sharing your concerns with your House and Senate representatives actually works, and I encourage you to call rather than send a letter or email. According to this district office worker who told her story in a series of tweets, phone calls flooding the office on specific topics get escalated way more than written protests.

To find out who your House Reps and Senators are in Congress, go here to find their names and contact info. If you’re not sure what to say or where to begin when leaving your messages, a good friend of mine posted this helpful script:
"Hello, my name is [name] and I am a constituent from [your state]. I am calling to ask that [Senator or Representative’s name] protest the appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist to the White House. Bannon’s history as a misogynist and white supremacist has no place in a modern democracy and he must be kept out of the Executive branch. Thank you.
Or you can replace the Bannon part above in bold with:
“… protest the implementation of a Muslim registry. History tells us that this is how the Holocaust began, and we know that America is better than that. Such xenophobia has no place in the Land of the Free. To that end, I ask that you also protest the appointment of Jeff Sessions, a known racist, to the role of U.S. attorney general. ”
Or with this:
“… allow President Obama to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court quickly before Donald Trump can fill it with someone who will reverse or prevent the advancement of basic human rights of women, people of color, immigrants, or any other group who relies on American’s strong values for protection.”
Or say something else about this upcoming regime that you find completely appalling and unacceptable. Or say all of the above and then some. If you feel it, say it. Fill those voice mailboxes.

And for extra funsies, one of my new #PSN friends managed to get her hands on this little tidbit of information:
Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader: 202-224-2541
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House: 202-225-3031 <-- #FuckThisGuy but call him anyway.
Now hurry and call before they change their numbers!


4. Peacefully protest

It is our constitutional right to protest the actions of government. There are thousands of peaceful protests happening around the country and plenty more planned for Inauguration Day on January 20, 2017. One way to get involved in these is to join the millions of Americans in the "secret" Facebook group, Pantsuit Nation. The national group has also grown into regional chapters and local sub-chapters. People who don't even know each other are gathering together to discuss how they can impact change locally and broadly. It's amazing. It’s a movement, and it’s happening. Be part of it.

Yes, I know that protesting will not change the outcome of the election, but it will send a message to Trump, his deplorable new alt-right cabinet, his fanatical alt-right supporters, the fucking KKK, and the entire GOP, letting them know that we will not allow hate, racism, sexism, xenophobia, or intolerance in the U.S. If they want to take away human rights and freedoms, they will not do it without a fight.

Be part of that fight.

I am a mother of two small children, so I know I need to be careful. I have no intention of getting incarcerated or shot. I will only participate in peaceful protests. But I'm no dummy. I know my history, and I've seen it unfold before my old, crow's-feet framed eyes. I know that protests can start out peacefully and then take a tragic turn. And that shit is scary. I feel your trepidation.

In those paralyzing moments, I remember that I am doing this for my children. For your children. When my sons are older, I want them to be part of the fight as well and be proud of the example I have set. My ultimate goal is to raise two loving, compassionate, brave, empathetic, white males who will also fight for our country's progress, not its regression.

Be that example for your children and those around you.


5. Support causes that help people who have been targeted by Trump's threats.

Through monetary donations, volunteering your time, and social advocacy, you can support organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Since November 8th, the ACLU has reportedly received over $7M in donations, to the point that their donation website crashed! Hell fucking yeah!

For bonus points in your #PSN street cred, make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence's name. Planned Parenthood has received over 80,000 donations, 25% of which have been made in honor of M.P., just to prove a point that we will not stand for his anti-abortion bullshit. Haha! Love this! Do it!

Need other ideas? If you are not offended by the F-word, please go to holyfucktheelection.com. It will give you names of organizations to which you can donate your time and/or money, depending on which part of this one-eighty our democracy has taken pisses you off the most. Trust me, it’s everything.


6. Support truth in journalism

Yes, it seems archaic. A newspaper? Whaaaa….??? I know, but hear me, especially you Millennials who just could not bring yourselves to vote for Trump or Hillary, as if the quality of their characters was a fucking toss up. (Deep breaths...)

First, again, check your moral compass, and second, check your sources of information. If you rely solely on the Internet and social networks to get your news, it’s difficult to determine what is true, current, and validated. Truth in journalism has fallen away to click-bait headlines, echo chambers, and vague-booking.

Misinformation was a huge factor in the disaster that was this election. We can combat fake journalism by renewing our dedication to true journalism. Seriously, it’s worth the 99 cents. It’s a fucking newspaper. You can afford it.

Also, you may notice that I do not apologize for the length of this post that is over 2,000 words. This shit’s important. If you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t assume you are fully informed. Fucking read, people!


7. The Ripple Effect

You might feel like one, lone voice, especially if you are a blue dot in a sea of red. You may wonder what impact you can possibly have. The answer to that is more than you think. Channel all that anger, sadness, fear, and despair you feel right now, and use it to kill Trump Country with kindness.

First, shut down the acts of hate that may be happening around you. (See photo of hate note above.) Speak out against it. Even if you are hesitant to speak out on social media for fear of inviting troll attacks and negativity, you can still speak out with your real voice instead of your keyboard. Let people who look/live like you know that you do not agree with their treatment of people who don't. Be loud. Be strong. Be brave. Sometimes a person needs "one of their own" to shame them into acting right.

Think, #WhatWouldYourMamaDo if she disapproved of your behavior? She would shut your shit down, right? Yeah, so shamelessly and unapologetically, shut that shit down. Make your mama proud. Show her she didn't raise no fool.

Second, be kind. All day. Every day. Go out of your way to be kind, to do good, to be a light in dark times. Give food to a homeless person on the corner. Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor or shovel their driveway. Buy groceries or hire a laundry service for the single parent at your child's school. Actively participate in community outreach organizations. Basically, we need less indignant social media posting and more actual doing.

Third, the little niceties go a long way. Use the polite manners your mama taught you, and always say “please” and “thank you.” Give compliments, and brighten someone’s day.

And do it with sincerity! Look people in the face when you say it – really see them. A mumbled “thanks” while hunched over your iPhone is not genuine. Make eye contact and smile! The server refilling your water glass is a real person. The janitor in your office building is not invisible. Expand your periphery.


End of plea...
I highly recommend following Shaun King on Twitter.

I fully believe in the ripple effect and that kindness is contagious. Acts of kindness can spread, and so if we all pledge to be that center drop of kindness in these troubled waters, your ripples will eventually meet the ripples of other kind people, and like-mindedness can conjoin across borders Together, we can "out-ripple" the hate of Trump Country.

To that end, we need to tell each other about it! Humility and humbleness are endearing and all, but if we don't speak up about our kindness, we won't inspire others to do good as well. See my post on #ShowMeYourKindness for more info on how to spread the word and be a shining example.

Blue America and anti-Trump America (which are not one in the same), please use your voices. Be loud. Be strong, Be brave. Stand up. Go beyond the safety pin. Act. Prove to our children, citizens of all walks of life, and the world that #ThisAintTrumpCountry.

#NeverTrump #NotMyPresident

NOTE: All hateful, disrespectful, or unkind comments will be deleted. You're welcome to disagree with me, but you must be kind! If you're just here to troll around and squash hope, please slink away. And my name is not "Snowflake." 









3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thanks for bringing me out of the numbness... to start thinking about next steps!!! Yes, Melissa!

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  3. Melissa, I "liked" a page on Facebook called Pantsuit Nation, which has nearly 4 million followers. From that national group, state-wide Pantsuit group popped up. Within a week the New Jersey group had more than 11,000 followers and is growing by the day. From the NJ group, local groups are popping up all over the state. We had a meeting last week attended by about 40+ women. Many were women who don't normally get involved, but they, like me, like you - are so angry and frustrated and just want to do something. We are working on formuating a strategy and mission, with the focus including many of the things you mention in your blog. For the first time ever I called my congressman, and you know what? It wasn't scary at all. The guy who answered the phone was very respectful and listened to my concerns. I don't know if they have a California branch of Pantsuit Nation but if they do I hope you'll join! Thanks for a great blog post!

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