Beating the Trump Slump / by Hope A

Should I have been surprised? Maybe not. But I was. I too felt the dissappointment and outrage of what so many people had voted for.  In response, and as a part of the FREEDOM OF THE PRESS event organized by The Southern Letterpress, I set the type for this month's postcard. I won't lie, this is a toned down more articulate version of my first idea, which involved more cursing. So, along with the postcard, I offer this list of ways to get down to business and keep on with the good works. There is much to do.

It might sound alarmist to suggest that agencies that aid those who need it are under scrunity. But it is foolish to think none of the proposals made by the president elect and his team will pass. Remember when it was mereely hilarious and goofy when he was running for president and we never though he would win. Immigrants, Muslims, women, Black people, brown people, trans*, queer, poor, people with disabilities, have all been attacked verbally by the president elect. If you are in a position to help, now is the time not only say you are an ally but to fight like an ally. 

This list has been compiled by myself, inspired by others and is growing and changing as necessary.

It was complied as a companion to Keep Writing number 93, a postcard project that usually includes a postcard and prompt to send back, This month I am asking subscribers to take at least one step listed below.

DONATE

  • If you are in the position to do so, find a cause you support and send 'em your money. Are you angry about the proposal to defund Planned Parenthood? Donate your holiday gift checks from Grandma. Donate in the name of Mike Pence. Donate in lieu of gifts. Hold a bake sale or a benefit show or a speakeasy night and send all the proceeds to your favorite organization. Set a small recurring monthly donation.  
  • If you have time, consider volunteering. Escort women to the abortion clinic. Flyer, share information, answer the phones, encourage monetary donations from others.  

need ideas on places to donate to? here is a few:

  • Planned Parenthood provides reproductive and sexual health care to those can't afford insurance.
  • BREAKOUT! fights the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in Louisiana
  • SURJ Showing Up for Racial Justice is a group of white people educating and inspiring other while people to stand against racism.  If you donate to them, they also suggest that you donate to another group that is led by non-whites--they even give you a list of organizations they like. 
  • SONG Southerners on New Ground is an intersectional group of queer, trans, non-white, immigrant, undocumented,people in the rural south.
  • Trans Lifeline--is staffed by trans people for trans people who need someone to talk to

There are more. Research. There are lawyers who will defend those who might be departed. There are medical workers providing care to the underserved. There are people gathering needed supplies for the water protectors at Standing Rock. There are people growing gardens in food deserts to help people feed themselves. Do what you can.

EDUCATE

  • Talk to your neighbors. Talk to people who don't look like you, or think like you.
  • Find a reputable news source (support it if you can!) 
  • Listen to more than one point of view
  • Read writings by people of color, women, immigrants. Read about a variety of experiences written by a variety of people.
  • Here are a few reading lists that might get you started:
    • https://www.nypl.org/blog/2015/10/23/ta-nehisi-coates-reading-list
    • http://remezcla.com/lists/culture/stop-trump-reading-list/

ORGANIZE

  • Join a group that is working in your city
  • Make dinner with your friends, and share ideas or resources
  • Write and call your representatives
  • Take it to the streets. Did you know that there is a post-election victory lap happening right now? Is there a future president of vp coming to your town? Can you get tickets online? Have you considered being a white ally to those who might want to speak but be targeted at those events? Put your body there. 
  • share your information in groups 
  • have access to a press and are you good with words? print away! slogans won't save us but they are a visible way to show support and to begin to reclaim space

TAKE CARE

  • Smash bottles when you need to and nap if you can
  • Cook food! for yourself and others
  • Be kind. Take a deep breath. Don't punch that guy at the red light. He is not the problem. Unless he is the problem. 
  • Support your help with herbs. Janet of Medicine County Herbs has been writing extensively about this, about which herbs are good for anxiety, grief under the heading Herbs for Resistence. In New Orleans we are lucky to have Maypop Herb Shop to talk to about radical self-care through herbs.
  • Speak up, Be a witness. 
  • Do not isolate. Reach out to your friends before you feel overwhelmed or helpless. Keep in touch to give yourself a touch stone, a way to check in. Find a buddy, near or afar. 
  • Find something that centers you, connects you, calms you and try to do it every day--taking a walk, practicing yoga, meditating, sitting at the river. 

further resources

lucky for you, people smarter than me have been working on this problem:

  • White accomplices is a website that breaks down different types of action you can take and how involved each action is.  http://www.whiteaccomplices.org/
  • Bear is  yoga teacher, artist and activist in New Orleans. And a friend of mine. Their blog is about yoga and social justice--its clarity and simplicity makes it easy to understand while breaking down complex issues. http://bearteachesyoga.org/blog/

take care, take action.

Hope