There is little enforcement of the nearly 27 year old Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the A.D.A. Every time their civil rights are infringed upon, citizens with disabilities must fight to defend those rights in court. That’s not an ideal situation, but it’s often the path that produces more immediate results in the society we live in.
The reality is that businesses, even after 27 years, continue to blatantly ignore ADA compliance. And now, a bi-partisan backed bill has been re-introduced by Representative Ted Poe of Texas that will weaken the one tool available to people with disabilities fighting for their civil rights, and the primary way the ADA is enforced.
HR 620, or the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, was born out of complaints from business owners that a cottage industry of legal firms has popped up to capitalize on the ADA by filing a multitude of what they deem to be “frivolous” law suits that hurt businesses.
So, in an attempt to “protect business owners” who are already violating the law, HR 620 puts even more of a burden on the person whose rights are being violated. If this bill passes, a disabled person must first be denied access; then must determine that violations of the law have occurred; then must provide the business with specific written notice of which provisions of the law were violated and when; and finally, the aggrieved person with the disability must afford the business a lengthy period to correct the problem. The person whose civil rights are being ignored would have to endure and do all of this before they could even file a lawsuit.
The legislation failed to pass the House last year due to successful activism from the disability community to squelch it, but under a new administration it has reared its head again.
In a letter to lawmakers, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities wrote, “If, after 27 years, a business has continued to not comply with the requirements of this legislation, why should a person have to wait more time for enforcement of their civil rights? Should an individual who is not allowed to enter a restaurant because of their race, gender or religion, have to wait before seeking to enforce their civil rights?”
You can help kill this bill again, and perhaps for good, by calling your legislators today and telling them you will not stand for legislation that weakens the ADA and puts more burden on the very people it aims to protect, while businesses continue to violate a 27 year old civil rights law. Get up to speed on the bill, read the statements from the disability community, and watch and share videos about the importance of the ADA and how we can build on it, on the National Disability Rights Network website at NDRN.org.
So, if defending civil rights for all is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about telling congress to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Call Congress, especially the 14 co-sponsors of HR 620 (7 Republicans, 7 Democrats)
HR 620: ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (via Countable.us)
Overview of Concerns on HR 620 (via NDRN.org)
People with Disabilities Battle Trump (via Workers World)
Denham bill would fight ADA lawsuit abuse (via Central Valley Business Journal)
Posted April 11, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1094: An identity group that any one of us might join at any time (Disability Rights)
This activism update is about taking advantage of some of the tools that are helping make that Resistance movement strong, efficient and agile. Some of these tools have been around for a while while others sprung up after the election, but all of them are helping more informed voices be heard more often. Here are a few of our favorite websites and apps that can help you get informed, contact legislators and make change.
5Calls.org is all about simplicity and speed. The site gives you everything you need to make up to 5 calls to elected officials in 5 minutes. The most urgent progressive issues that need attention are listed on the left side of the screen and when you click the one you’re interested in, you’re instantly provided with a description of the issue, the name and phone number for the first elected official you need to call based on your zip code, and a call script. With 5Calls.org, you can be an active participant in The Resistance before your lunch is done reheating in the office microwave.
Countable.us focuses on information. Countable was born out of the idea that it shouldn’t be so hard to understand what your elected officials are up to and it should be even easier to hold them accountable for their votes. The nonpartisan site provides clear, succinct summaries of upcoming and active legislation, allows you to directly tell your lawmakers how to vote on the issues, and makes it easy to follow up on how your lawmaker actually voted. They also streamline the process of contacting your lawmaker on every issue you read about and allow for easy social sharing. You do have to create a login to take action on this site, but if you want to really know what’s going on on the floor of Congress, it’s worth it. If you work for a progressive organization, you may also want to check out their embeddable advocacy widget for your website.
If you want to know when it’s time to get in the streets, you can stay up to date on the latest direct actions happening near you with ResistanceCalendar.org. This is basically the unofficial online calendar of The Resistance at the local level. Just search the keyword for an issue you care about, or the city you live in, and select the month and you’ll see a pinboard of related events. You can also view the results in chronological order and in full calendar view. Got an event you’re planning? You can also easily submit it to the Resistance Calendar.
Next, if you’re feeling like you might need a little more guidance to flex your activism muscles, you’ll find it at ResistanceManual.org, a project by Stay Woke. If the site looks like a Wikipedia page, that’s because it is. It’s Wikipedia for activism. They are crowdsourcing resources, information and tools to create a robust, curated go-to resource for The Resistance. Don’t worry - everything is reviewed and approved before it goes live. The site is full of updates on the latest Trump atrocities and how you can resist, but they also have a section called “Tools of Resistance” that includes tips and resources on contacting elected officials, organizing, planning events, and even self-care tools.
We haven't scratched the surface of what is out there. So if you want to find more tools, we recommend heading over to ActionAlliance.co, a collaboration of call-to-action websites and apps. It is a simple, one page website that has categorized and linked to a wide variety of online tools - including some of the ones mentioned above - that are helping The Resistance stay on top of the issues. Find the ones that are right for you and make them part of your Resistance plan.
So, if keeping The Resistance efficient, effective and informed is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Tapping Into the Tools for ‘The Resistance’ via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
READ: "Your Guide to the Sprawling New Anti-Trump Resistance Movement" (via The Nation)
Posted March 31, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear this segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1091: Progressives fighting on multiple fronts (The Resistance)
Join the National Week of Action (April 3-7) to Demand Medicare for All via @H_O_P4E & @PHMglobal #Health4All
If you’re tired of defending the problematic Obamacare in the face of the devastating Trumpcare, then there is no better time to join the movement for natinoal improved Medicare for all.
April 7th, 2017 has been designated the international day of action against the privatization of health care. The grassroots organizations People’s Health Movement and Health Over Profit for Everyone are calling for a week of actions leading up to April 7th under the banner “Our Health is NOT for Sale.”
Health Over Profit for Everyone, or HOPE, is encouraging those who believe that privatization has no role in our healthcare to take part in a national call-in and write-in week from April 3-7 to tell Congress to take action now for national improved Medicare for all.
HOPE is also urging the organization of local actions around the date of April 7th, when members of Congress will start their recess and will be home in their local districts. Some cities like Seattle, Washington; New York City; Washington, DC; Columbia, Maryland, and Minocqua, Minnesota already have actions scheduled that you can join, but if you’re not in those areas take the initiative to organize your own. On their website, HOPE provides ideas for the types of actions you can host, fact-based rally graphics for download and tips on spreading the word. Visit HealthOverProfit.org and click the “Actions” tab for all of this information, a map of actions across the country, and more. The hashtag for the event is #Health4All.
Additionally, if you are in the Washington, DC area on March 29th, HOPE is looking for volunteers to be part of their Medicare for All Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. They will be distributing educational material to all members of Congress and they need your help.
So, if taking profit motives out of healthcare is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Joining the National Week of Action to Demand Medicare for All via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
As Trump and Republicans increase our defense budget while simultaneously proposing a healthcare plan that would cost people a fortune, and possibly their lives, it’s time to demand an answer to the question Bernie Sanders has been asking for years: “Why do Republicans always have money for war but not for those in need?”
If you're in DC, volunteer for HOPE's Medicare for All Lobby Day in DC - March 29th
Insurance Companies Just Accidentally Made The Case For Medicare For All (Huffington Post)
For-Profit Health Care Used To Be Illegal (Health Over Profit for Everyone)
Trumpcare vs. Obamacare (The New Yorker)
How the AHCA Leaves the Old, Sick and the Poor Behind (The Atlantic)
Affordable Care Act revision would reduce insured numbers by 24 million, CBO projects (The Washington Post)
A Running List of People Who Hate Trumpcare (Mother Jones)
Posted March 21, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communication Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear the clip in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1088: Bracing for impact or burning up on reentry? (Trumpcare)
Last week, all 100 members of the Senate sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI calling on them to address the string of bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers, Jewish Day Schools and Synagogues, and desecration of Jewish cemeteries, across the country. Around the same time 100 leaders of Jewish Community Centers wrote to Jeff Sessions expressing their frustration at the lack of federal level involvement in the investigations.
Days later, the Department of Homeland Security finally pledged to investigate these crimes. Though their more than two month delayed response has been duly noted by all.
The lack of any serious action by Trump and the Feds prompted the Anti-Defamation League to basically do the work for them. In a post on the ADL Blog and Medium, the CEO and National Director of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, proposed a nine point plan of action for the Trump administration to address anti-semitism, while also calling out Trump for his reluctance to address it.
Greenblatt wrote, “Whether invective is coming from the Extreme Right or the Radical Left, it is irresponsible for leaders to shrug aside the slander and write off hateful threats or bomb scares as “empty hoaxes.” In an environment where there is no price to be paid for prejudice, bigots will continue to turn up the dial.”
The ADL plan includes the appointment of a new White House coordinator for fighting hate, a DOJ directive encouraging state and local law enforcement agencies to train officers on handling hate crimes, clarification from DHS on its Countering Violent Extremism program to ensure it encompasses all forms of extremism, increased Department of Education funding for anti-bias, anti-hate content in schools, and more.
You can make sure the Trump Administration is forced to address these proposed actions by sharing this plan widely on social media, as well as with your local Representatives, and especially your Senators, who all signed on to the letter to DHS, DOJ and the FBI. To see the post, go to the ADL Blog under the “News” tab on ADL dot org, or get the link from our show notes.
Again, we want to ask that you help us in our work to amplify the most effective activism. If you have come across an action or a new organization that is doing great work getting people engaged to resist the Trump agenda, please share it with us by emailing Amanda@bestoftheleft.com.
The segment notes include all the links to this information as well as additional resources and, as always, this and every activism segment we produce is archived and organized under the activism tab at Best of the Left dot com.
So, if fighting hate in all its forms is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Demanding the Trump Administration Take Action to Fight Anti-Semitism via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
There’s no better time to take a page out of Anne Frank’s Diary: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Share the ADL's 9 step plan for the Trump administration to fight anti-semitism on social media
Send the plan to your Representatives and Senators and demand they fight for action
Anti-Semitism in the United States (ADL.org)
Letter from Senate to DOJ, DHS and FBI (Peters.senate.gov)
Posted March 10, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear this segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1086: Unleashing the demons (Anti-Semitism)
Protect Immigrants in Your Community: Join #HereToStay Network & #RaidWatch via @UNITEDWEDREAM & @AmericasVoice
Trump’s executive orders at the end of January had an immediate and traumatic impact on the immigration community. Under the guise of protecting America from “acts of terror or criminal conduct” by undocumented immigrants, the ramped up ICE raids and deportations have targeted DREAMers, as well as those protected under DACA - a law Trump wants to get rid of, of course. According to the organization Free Press, in just the first week of February, immigration officers arrested 680 people.
Living under constant threat of an immigration raid is a nightmare for undocumented individuals who are at risk of arrest and separation from their families via deportation. There are many ways to stand up for and protect the undocumented people in your community, but here are three actions you can take that will help you stay informed when someone needs help, easily report ICE activity in your community, and encourage your local officials to support undocumented immigrants:
The immigrant youth-led organization United We Dream has launched the #HereToStay Network. By signing up, you pledge your commitment to defending undocumented people in your community and will get notified when they need your help.
The organization America’s Voice is encouraging people to record video and take pictures of raids or ICE activity in their communities and post them to social media using the hashtag #RaidWatch. This not only helps alert activists and immigration lawyers to the raids, but provides warning to other undocumented immigrants in your community and publicly highlights the injustice of Trump’s executive orders. Learn more.
United We Dream has also launched WeAreHeretoStay.org, a website with resources for immigrants, as well as a campaign to encourage US Mayors to declare their cities “sanctuaries of safety” for immigrants, Muslims, black people, and members of the LGBTQ community. In a sanctuary city, officials implement policies to restrict local police from turning immigrants over to federal immigration agents and declare in no uncertain terms that immigrants are welcome. Call, write, tweet at and show up at the office of your city’s mayor to demand they protect those under attack by Trump.
Resources for Immigrants
And finally, it is critically important for those under threat to know their rights and resources. If you are an immigrant, go to the "Resources” tab at WeAreHeretoStay.org to read your rights and tips on what to do if ICE comes to your door. You can also download deportation defense cards in more than 10 languages that include those rights and tips and the United We Dream hotline to report the incident. That hotline number is 1-844-363-1423.
Additionally, the organization Latino Rebels has created a valuable resource for undocumented immigrants called the MigraMap. The MigraMap is the first map pin pointing ICE raids and activity across the US. To view the map and/or submit a raid, go to migramap.latinorebels.com.
We want to ask that you help us in our work to amplify the most effective activism. If you have come across an action or a new organization that is doing great work getting people engaged to resist the Trump agenda, please share it with us by emailing Amanda@bestoftheleft.com.
So, if standing up for immigrant human rights is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Protecting Immigrants in Your Community by Joining #HereToStay Network & #RaidWatch via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
It’s been said a million times, but it can’t be said enough: no human being is illegal. Period.
Resources for immigrants:
If you have been approached by ICE officials, call the United We Dream Hotline: 1-844-363-1423
Find out where raids are happening (and/or submit them) with Latino Rebel’s MigraMap
Find an immigration lawyer via American Immigration Lawyers Association
Trump's DHS Executive Orders (DHS.gov)
What Immigration Raids Mean for Students (The Atlantic)
Dreamer Says ICE Threatened to Deport Him (The Daily Beast)
Trump's Deportation Raids: What We Know and Don't Know (Mother Jones)
Law-Abiding but Illegal, and Fearing the New Trump Rules (The New York Times)
Trump touts recent immigration raids, calls them a ‘military operation’ (The Washington Post)
President Trump is on shaky ground with his new immigration order (The Washington Post)
Dallas County ‘Dreamer’s’ arrest puts scare in immigration-rights community (Texas Star-Telegram)
Posted February 28, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of the Best of the Left Edition #1083: Trump's immigration crackdown has begun
The reality is that we are playing defense now and that means that as activists we must adapt in the moment, much faster than we can alert you to what's going on. It's not the way we would want it but there's no choice but to practice fast-paced "react-ivism" as the Trump administration drops unconstitutional bombshells and blatant lies multiple times a day, every day.
Here at Best of the Left, we’ve believed for a long time that online petitions don’t cut it. We've always needed to work much harder than that to make the change we want and that's never been more true than now. We have to make the effort to go to protests, make the effort to regularly donate to organizations fighting Trump’s agenda, make the effort to seek out our local organizations and chapters and get involved on the ground. We must make the effort to be so plugged in that when the call comes to take action, as it inevitably will, we’re ready and waiting.
It may be up to the Supreme Court now whether or not Trump’s ban can be reinstated, but public opinion has been shown to have an influence on the court. So, if you want to help the refugees trying to save themselves and their families and immigrants seeking a better life, there is no simple answer, but here are some things you can do:
You need to make the effort to call your representative and both senators in your state and show up at their town hall events to demand they denounce Trump’s muslim ban. Even if they already have, you need to call them to back them up and let them know they are doing the right thing.
You need to make the effort to find the local chapter of an organization near you that is working to help refugees and is working to fight the Trump muslim ban. There are hundreds of these organizations, but we recommend starting with International Rescue Committee which has program office locations in 29 cities in the United States where you can volunteer. Visit Rescue.org to learn more. And go to IndivisibleGuide.com to find other local organizations near you that are committed to resisting the Trump agenda.
You need to make the effort to be in the know. That means signing up to receive email and text alerts from the organizations who are organizing actions and protests in your area. Even better, you can volunteer to help organize those actions. As a heads up, this weekend, the refugee organization HIAS is hosting a National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees with a large action on Sunday, February 12th in New York City’s Battery Park and sister marches in cities across the country on Saturday and Sunday. Go to HIAS.org to learn more.
And finally, if you can, you need to make the effort to donate to the organizations we’ve mentioned today and others, like the American Civil Liberties Union at ACLU.org and Doctors without Boarders at DoctorsWithoutBoarders.org.
We are committed to amplifying effective activism and right now, with the incredible flurry of new resistance projects and efforts, we need your help to keep up. If you have come across an action or a new organization that is doing great work getting people engaged to resist the Trump agenda, please share it with us by emailing Amanda@BestoftheLeft.com.
So, if making sure America continues to open it’s arms to the refugees and immigrants that have built this country is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Fighting Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Trump and his cronies are waiting for us to get fatigued and roll over. So make a commitment to yourself right now and each day that no matter how many battles we lose, you will not throw your hands up and say the war is not worth it. Justice is always worth it.
Call your Representatives and Senators to demand they denounce Trump's ban & thank those who have: 202-224-3121 (Capitol switchboard number)
How to Help Immigrant and Muslim Neighbors (BillMoyers.com)
10 Concrete Ways to Take Action Against the Muslim Ban (Huffington Post)
Trump's Muslim Ban is Cowardly and Dangerous (The New York Times Editorial Board)
Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Makes Us All Less American (Rolling Stone)
This is the Beginning of Donald Trump's Muslim Ban (The Nation)
Posted February 10, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear the activism segment in the context of the latest Best of the Left Edition #1078: Unnecessary, ineffective and un-American (Muslim Ban)
In his farewell address to the nation, President Obama said, "We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric ... none of us can be bystanders to bigotry.”
With horrifying talk of registries and the revival of something akin to McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee, and even attempts at justification for camps, it feels like the roller coaster we’ve been on as a country is rapidly free-falling backwards.
The Muslim American community has been strong, creative and resolved in the face of increasing hate and Islamaphobia over the years, but with the radical, white-nationalist right entering the White House in a week, it is more important than ever to show our Muslim friends and neighbors that we have their backs.
So today our activism is about educating yourself so that you can be a valuable teammate and advocate for your fellow citizens as Trump, the Republicans and their supporters make good on their promises to un-justly target them.
Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontline of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Think “ACLU” with a Muslim American rights and religious freedom focus.
Their website is a rich resource of information, like a “how to” page on reporting hate crimes that is organized by state, tips and examples of effective tactics to use when responding to Islamaphobia and harassment of Muslims online, updates on their current litigation and Muslim voices and perspectives on their blog.
Head over to MuslimAdvocates.org and start educating yourself on how to be a better teammate. If you’re Muslim, this is a resource you can share with your non-Muslim friends when they start asking you how they can help so you don’t have to explain everything yourself. And a note on that, the farther away you are from being personally affected by Trumpian policies, the more you should make sure to do as much of your own homework as you possibly can before you even think about asking a muslim person or person of color how you can help.
To give just one perspective on this and another useful resource, here’s a real life muslim woman and co-host of the podcast Good Muslim Bad Muslim: Going through the traumatic experience of Trump’s election - #GoodMuslimBadMuslim - Air Date 12-25-16
If you have a business or work for one that is actively supportive and welcoming of all people, we found a great “Hate Has No Business Here” poster for you to download and print.
So, if actively fighting hate is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Learning How to Support Your Muslim American Neighbors via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Because we all could use some hope right now, I’ll end with a few more words from our outgoing president...
“For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back…But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”
Great effort to block a Muslim registry https://t.co/tY59uhETg3— Muslim Advocates (@MuslimAdvocates) January 7, 2017
Educate yourself and learn how to be a teammate at MuslimAdvocates.org
Learn how to report a hate crime in your state via MuslimAdvocates.org
“Click Here to End Hate” - Tips to Respond to Anti-Muslim Bigotry Online via Muslim Advocates.org
Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election (via The Southern Poverty Law Center)
Day 1 in Trump's America (via Twitter)
Trump continues to sow confusion over his plan for Muslims entering the country (via The Washington Post)
Gingrich's Outrageous Call to Deport All Practicing U.S. Muslims (via The Atlantic)
Newt Gingrich Suggests Reforming House Un-American Committee In Wake Of Orlando Shooting (via The Huffington Post)
At South Carolina Rally, Donald Trump Defiant on Muslim Ban (via NBC News)
Japanese American internment is ‘precedent’ for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says (via The Washington Post)
Posted January 12, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of the latest Best of the Left Edition #1071: First they came... (Religious Liberty)
Medicaid, Medicare, Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act. All four provide millions of Americans with health care, and yet gutting all four - without any real plan for what will replace the services and care they provide - is what Republican dreams are made of.
Let’s break these down for a second. Is the ACA perfect? Absolutely not. But it has helped millions of Americans get health insurance. Despite the right-wing talking points, federal dollars do not directly fund Planned Parenthood. So when Republicans say they want to “defund” it, what they really are saying is that they want to stop millions on Medicaid from having access to medical treatment at Planned Parenthood health centers simply because they offer abortion services. While millions in poverty rely on Medicaid for their healthcare needs, Trump and Republicans want to effectively kneecap the program. And when it comes to Paul Ryan’s obsession with privatizing and gutting Medicare, even Republican voters are furious.
What makes this all the more sickening is that Republicans want to cripple our healthcare systems while at the same time giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. And you know who gets really worked up about healthcare and America’s widening wealth gap? Bernie Sanders.
That’s why on Sunday, January 15, Bernie, Democratic members of Congress, trade unions, senior groups, health care activists and all those who believe in economic and social justice, are organizing a day of action in cities across the country to tell Republicans loudly and clearly: You are not going to get away with it.
Go to berniesanders.com/ourfirststand to read about the day of action, download materials to help spread the word and find a rally taking place near you. Use the #OurFirstStand on Twitter to join the conversation.
So, if defending your right to health care is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about this campaign’s call to action via social media so that others in your network can get involved too.
If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired…fighting for your rights is the only cure.
On January 15, join a day of action to stand up to Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress and save health care. https://t.co/oVtr4LCpHV— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 9, 2017
Save Health Care on Jan. 15th! Find an #OurFirstStand rally near you.
Not Just Obamacare: Medicaid, Medicare Also on GOP's Chopping Block (The Huffington Post)
Republicans’ 4-Step Plan to Repeal the Affordable Care Act (The New York Times)
Repealing Obamacare Effects Everyone (CNN Money)
Posted on January 10, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear this segment in the context of #BestoftheLeft Edition #1070: Readying the wrecking ball (Reproductive and Health Rights)
You're a listener of this show, so you’re already paying attention and you understand what the country is facing under a Trump administration. But if you've never taken the next step to get involved in activism in the past, we want to remind you today that you, of all people, at all the times in history - ESPECIALLY if you are white - have no excuse not to take action today.
You cannot rely on the people who already consider themselves activists or the people who will be targeted to get in the streets, stand up for themselves and those under attack and fight Trump and his followers for the next four years. If you do, you will be complicit in America's downfall. Because it doesn't matter anymore if you voted for Bernie, Hillary, Johnson or Stein. We all lost on November 8th - even Trump voters. They just don't know it yet. And that's just the sick reality of it.
In less than 70 days, Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States. But as you've heard today, his impact is already being felt. So what are you going to do? Here’s a better question - how will you be part of changing our culture so this can’t happen again?
Your first step is to go to ShowingUpforRacialJustice.org. Also known as SURJ, Showing Up for Racial Justice is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ Action moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. Their focus is inviting in those who are simply uneducated about racism instead of spending time calling out those ill informed people when they misstep.
White people elected Trump. So to write them off in our resistance movement would be absurd. We want the “moveable white middle” to join us. We want them to see the mutual benefits of equality for all races, genders, religions and abilities. That means engaging in a conversation with them and inviting them to join us in standing up for people of color, the LGBTIA+ community, immigrants, refugees, the disabled and women with mass demonstrations across the country.
As civil rights activist Anne Braden once said...
“The battle is and always has been a battle for the hearts and minds of white people in this country...We need to become involved with it as if our lives depended on it because really, in truth, they do.”
On the SURJ Action website, you can get resources on organizing, find a SURJ chapter in your community or start one, and sign up for in person or on the phone direct action and organizing trainings. Right now, many SURJ chapters across the country are currently offering direct action trainings in their communities and the national office is offering training conference calls into December.
SURJ is about educating those who are new to activism. So if this is your first time, don’t be nervous - they want you to be prepared. Because when activists are prepared and organized, they are effective. And that has never been more important.
So if resisting racism, fascism and authoritarianism is important to you, then be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Getting Trained for the Resistance by Showing Up for Racial Justice via social media so that others in your network can take action too.
So stand up. Fight back. There is no time to lose.
Posted November 18, 2016; Written by BOTL Communication Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear the clip in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1059: "Hatred Unleashed"
We know this story all too well. Forty years ago, a rich white man wrote and passed a law that negatively impacted the health and welfare of women in poverty for decades to come…and of course, it disproportionately harms people of color, immigrants, the LGBT community, young people and rural communities.
Thanks to Mr. Hyde and his “Hyde Amendment,” it is against the federal law for government funds to cover even one cent of the cost of a safe, legal abortion - effectively putting abortion out of reach for millions on Medicaid. As Maine state Senator Dave Miramant wrote this month, “The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed women’s rights to choose for themselves when to start a family back in 1973. But a right isn’t really a right when it’s dictated by how much money you make.”
Right now, nearly one in six women of reproductive age are enrolled in the federal Medicaid program. Fifteen states currently have policies that provide state Medicaid coverage of an abortion, but 60% of women on federal Medicaid do not live in those states. And it’s important to note that Transgender people are living in poverty at four times the national average with Medicaid as their only option.
But Hyde is not just harming those on Medicaid. It has provided a path for anti-choice politicians to add abortion coverage and funding bans to appropriations language that restricts Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollees, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, Native Americans, women in federal prisons and detention centers - including those detained for immigration purposes - women who receive health care from community health centers, survivors of human trafficking and low-income women in Washington, D.C.
The organization All Above All is leading the fight to end the Hyde Amendment. Not only are they educating the country about the devastating impacts of Hyde with fact sheets, videos and articles, but they are taking direct action on the state and local level to pass resolutions that would allow abortion coverage. Visit allaboveall.org and click “Act” to sign up, find resources and join in on state and local actions near you. You can also engage by spreading All Above All’s resources and facts on social media and using the hashtag #BeBoldEndHyde to encourage politicians to stand up for the reproductive rights of those in poverty.
For the first time, repealing the Hyde Amendment is part of the Democratic Party’s platform, but it is up to us to hold them to it. We encourage you to make fighting for reproductive justice part of your theory of change by getting involved in the long term with organizations like All Above All, Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other organizations fighting to provide everyone with the reproductive healthcare access and coverage they deserve.
So if making sure people can make their own healthcare decisions is important to you, then be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Keeping the Pressure on Congress to Be Bold and End the Hyde Amendment via social media so that others in your network can take action too.
Get involved with All Above All actions on the state and local level
Share All Above All resources on social media with #BeBoldEndHyde
What Women Do When They Can't Afford an Abortion (Broadly.vice.com)
What are your state's laws when it comes to abortion coverage? (AllAboveAll.org)
All Above All's Hyde Amendment Fact Sheet (AllAboveAll.org)
Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman.
Hear this segment in the context of the latest Best of the Left Edition #1052: The policies we have vs. the policies we need (Reproductive Rights)