You Say You Want a Revolution

Liz DenneryThe dust has barely settled since Tuesday November 8th, and I’m disturbed by people, media and social posts telling us to “get back to normal.” There was nothing normal about this presidential election and there’s nothing to normalize about a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and clearly unqualified President-elect, or the appointment of an unabashed white supremacist as the Chief White House Strategist. Hate is not normal.

I have heard from many women in the last week, sharing a deep shock and sadness, and feeling completely out of control. As the reality of our serious situation sinks in, we must not allow complacency to find a home with us. It was a devastating blow, but as Gloria Steinem so eloquently wrote, “We will not mourn. We will organize.”

For those of us who care about human rights for all, regardless of race, color, gender or sexual preference, who care about the health of our planet, women’s reproductive rights and basic human decency, we have our work cut out for us. We can’t allow the complete breakdown and deterioration of all the progress we’ve made over the last few years. Not on my watch.

Posting on social media isn’t enough. Venting your anger to a friend isn’t enough, nor is wearing a safety pin. You’ve got to take action – make the calls, write the checks, volunteer your time – and never, never, never give up.

I understand the feeling of helplessness, and often the feelings of overwhelm and despair that accompany it when we’re bombarded by so much information. I’ve compiled a list of tangible things you can do, ways you can get involved and organizations you can support. What feels right for one person may be different for another – what’s important is that you choose to do something.

Here’s a list of five tangible things you can do right now – including ways you can get involved and organizations that need your support:

1. Be intolerant of hate. When you see someone acting in a racist or hateful manner, it’s your job to intervene, say something and stay with the marginalized individual until they feel safe. We must stand up to hate crimes, bigotry and anything that threatens diversity and inclusiveness. As attorney Christopher Keelty wrote in a recent piece, “It is your responsibility to defend that person, not only by condemning the hate speech, but by staying with that marginalized person and treating them as an actual human being. You want to help people feel safe? Then forget your safety pin and do the work of actually helping people feel safe.”

2. Get your news from credible, reliable sources. Look for real facts and truth-telling. Here’s a list of people/media outlets I’m paying attention to, along with a few more suggestions from people I respect. Please feel free to add more in the comments below:

Christiane Amanpour
The Atlantic
BBC
The Daily Show
Dan Rather
The Guardian
The Independent
New York Times
NPR
The Root
Shaun King
Slate
Van Jones
Washington Post

3. Hold President-elect Trump and the media accountable. It is clear that over the next four years, we will need to pressure the media to hold Trump and his cabinet accountable and insist that hate is not normal. You can reach members of the media on Twitter and through email. Here’s how:

@nytimes: public@nytimes.com
@washingtonpost: ombudsman@washpost.com
@wsj: wsjcontact@wsj.com
@CNN: rick.davis@turner.com
@NBCNews: alias.shudofsky@nbcuni.com

Via Igor Volsky (@igorvolsky), Deputy Director for American Progress Action Fund

4. Call your Senator and Congressman/Congresswoman and let them know that you won’t tolerate hate. Writing a letter to your district (state) office is better than sending an email or writing a letter to Washington D.C. But the best way to reach them is to call the district office, as they have to talk to you there.

Here’s a Member Directory – with direct phone numbers! 

And three more resources in case you need them:

Contact Your Elected Officials

U.S. House of Representatives

Find Your Representative

5. Give back to organizations that need our support now more than ever. Here are just a few to get you started – click on the link to find out more and donate:

American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union works to defend individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.

Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Today, it fights against anti-semitism and bigotry as one of the largest civil rights organizations in the country.

Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization.

Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is a national legal organization dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of the LGBT population and people with HIV through litigation, education, and policy work.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy and education.

Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center fights hate groups and bigotry using education, litigation, and advocacy.

Abort patriarchy - reproduce dignity quoteThe National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women (NOW) is an activist organization, foundation and PAC that advocates for equal rights for women.

National Women’s Law Center
The National Women’s Law Center has worked for over 40 years to enact policies and laws on behalf of women and families.

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider.

Reproductive Health Access Project
The Reproductive Health Access Project is a non-profit that trains clinicians to make quality reproductive healthcare more accessible.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, which operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE; online.rainn.org; rainn.org/es) and programs to help victims of sexual violence.

She Should Run
She Should Run is a non-profit that aims to get more women into elected leadership roles.

Running Start
Running Start is another organization dedicated to educating young women and girls about the importance of politics, through the Young Women’s Political Leadership Program and various other fellowships and internships.

Emily’s List
EMILY’s List is a political action committee that works to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates to public office.

Earth Justice
EarthJustice is the largest nonprofit environmental law organization in the country, working to protect wildlife, for healthy communities, and for cleaner energy options. The organization represents its clients free of charge.

The Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental organization in the county, and works to protect millions of acres of wilderness and pass legislation like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists works to create solutions to the planet’s most pressing scientific problems through research, advocacy, and policy.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers legal resources, support and advocacy to reporters to protect the First Amendment and freedom of information rights.

quoteHere are a few more ways you can educate yourself and additional opportunities to get involved – click on the links:

How to Easily Be a White Ally to Marginalized Communities

A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support

If You’re Overwhelmed By The Election, Here’s What You Can Do Now

How to Make Your Congressman Listen to You

You Are Not Powerless

21 Things You Can Do Right Now to Respond to Trump

Commit to Fight Trump #fighttrump

Whatever you do, don’t be lulled into a haze of things “getting back to normal.” We now have a racist, misogynistic reality TV star as our President-elect, who is surrounding himself with those who have a proven track record of bigotry and hateful action.

Now is not the time to sit back and watch.

Rise, Sister, RISE.

Comments

  1. KAREN ANDERSON says:

    Thanks Liz,
    You know I’m with you and all liberal minded people. Thank you for this informative letter. I will rise up and act to protect our inalienable rights as woman and as humans. I appreciate the nudge. I will send this letter to many others as well.
    Love you,
    Karen

  2. Thank you for sharing this important information. Many have asked “what can I do?” Your post provides resources and tangible action steps.

    Write on!~

    Lisa

  3. Jennifer Lyle says:

    Liz, Thanks for your bold, loud, fierce words and actions. Thanks for your courage and strength. We need you and your communication. Your article is the foundation of my own actions steps and I’ve adopted/adapted your mantra: “When all is said and done I WILL have done more than I’ve said!” Thank you, Sister. Rise On!!

  4. Jennifer Lyle says:

    P.S. I add John Oliver and his “Last Week Tonight” to your list: http://iamjohnoliver.com/

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