Here is a small selection of things that don’t work:
- Wearing black
- Posting “Joe Biden: White House Troublemaker” memes (although a giggle is good medicine)
- Wearing a safety pin
- Returning to safe, familiar, more-or-less neutral patterns of work and social life
- Conflating the expression of feelings with action
- Rehashing outrage and fear in casual conversations with friends and family who agree with us
- Repeatedly checking social media to watch horrors as they unfold
- Waiting to see what else he does before doing anything ourselves
Here is what does work:
- Asking the next question: What action will we take today — this very day — in the service of justice and our common future on this planet?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again: A very well organized white supremacist, anti-government, anti-science, Christian fundamentalist business-backed coalition just took control of all three branches of the US government.
Those of us who stand on the side of human life and the well-being of our shared home need to organize ourselves. We need to open the playbooks of Abolitionists, Suffragists, Civil Rights movement, Earth First, ACT UP, La Raza, and so many others. The brave members of these historic movements for human dignity serve as our common ancestors in the work of justice.
We may not have any idea what we’re doing. Neither did they.
Like them, we’re going to do it anyway.
Over the coming weeks, I will post a series of actions. They will not be my singular ideas because honestly, I need guidance here. They will come from history as well as from those who organize and act on the front lines now.
The actions will be small. Alone, each will amount to almost nothing. Together, they will push against the white liberal tendency to exsanguinate our beliefs on the padded walls of reflexive impotence and the pseudo-politicization of self-care.
They will build momentum. They will build bridges
They will build our movement.
It is hard to make change. That’s why most people don’t bother until they have to.
Now we have to.
Image: “Vivir sin Fronteras/Live without Borders,” True Colors Mural Project with Juana Alicia