January 2017

9 January 2017

Did Media Literacy Backfire?

We need to trust people with expertise

I believe that information intermediaries are important, that honed expertise matters, and that no one can ever be fully informed. As a result, I have long believed that we have to outsource certain matters and to trust others to do right by us as individuals and society as a whole. This is what it means to live in a democracy, but, more importantly, it’s what it means to live in a society.

An Interview with Judith Butler

Perhaps we should be talking about the loss of participatory democracy in the US.

Let us remember that he was elected by less than one quarter of the public, and that it is only as the consequence of an outmoded Electoral College that he is now on way to becoming the President. So we should not imagine that there is widespread popular support for Trump. There is widespread disillusionment with participatory politics, and there is some serious contempt for both of the major US parties. But Hillary Clinton won more votes than Trump. So when we ask about support for Trump, we are asking how a minority in the US was able to bring Trump to power. We are asking about a deficit in democracy, not a popular groundswell. In my view, the electoral college should be abolished so that our elections more clearly represent the will of the people. Our political parties also have to be rethought so that there can be greater popular participation in the process.So the minority that supported Trump, the minority that were able to achieve an electoral success, were enabled not only by their own disaffection with the political field, but the disaffection of about 50% of eligible voters who did not vote. Perhaps we should be talking about the loss of participatory democracy in the US.

11 January 2017

Melissa Harris Perry on Legacy of Obama

Feminism is a Question

Revealing hidden figures is the central work of feminism. In this way, feminism is not a prescriptive text, dogma, or ideology; it is a question. What truths are missing here? What are we missing? Who are we excluding? How is our analysis true, but still limited by other missing truths? In this way, feminism creates a posture of intellectual humility and a willingness to question ourselves as much as we question systems of oppression.12 January 2017Are you an Intellectual?I define—and many others define an intellectual as someone with a tremendous desire to know. Intellectuals are open-minded. Intellectuals have a tremendous capacity to change their mind on matters, to self-reflect, to self-critique. Intellectuals are governed by only one special interest that is rarely self-serving—the special interest of finding and revealing the truth.

The task of intellectuals is:

  • to transcend political labels
  • to transcend political ideology and economic interests and cultural traditions
  • to fashion a clear and unadulterated mirror of humanity, so we can see ourselves for what we really are
  • to investigate the problems of our world
  • to solve the problems of our world.

18 January 2017

Women’s Marches Around the Nation

Women’s March Guiding Visions and Principles


  • We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.
  • We believe Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.
  • Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of violence against our bodies.
  • We believe in accountability and justice for police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color.
  • We believe it is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.
  • We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We understand that we can only have reproductive justice when reproductive health care is accessible to all people regardless of income, location or education.
  • We believe in Gender Justice.
  • We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings.
  • We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity.
  • We believe in equal pay for equal work and the right of all women to be paid equitably.
  • We recognize that women of color carry the heaviest burden in the global and domestic economic landscape, particularly in the care economy. We further affirm that all care work--caring for the elderly, caring for the chronically ill, caring for children and supporting independence for people with disabilities–is work, and that the burden of care falls disproportionately on the shoulders of women, particularly women of color.
  • We believe that all workers – including domestic and farm workers – must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all.
  • We believe Civil Rights are our birthright.
  • We believe it is time for an all-inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • We believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin. It is our moral duty to keep families together and empower all aspiring Americans to fully participate in, and contribute to, our economy and society.
  • We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands.

Resistance Manual

Action begins with information.There are more of us who believe in equity and justice than those who support Donald Trump’s ideology of fear and hate.Together, we can harness the collective power of the people to resist the impact of a Trump presidency and to continue to make progress in our communities.Get educated. Get organized. Take action.

20 january 2017


21 january 2017

Wall of Us

he promised a wall.
he will be stopped by a wall of us.FOUR CONCRETE ACTS OF RESISTANCE

Women’s March on Washington: Crowd Estimates

Overall Estimate: 3,673,214 (low) / 4,606,602 (high)
Women’s March SpeechesAngela Davis

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Sometimes—maybe once in a generation—a spirit of resistance is awakened at the intersection of love, faith and holy outrage. In those moments, we are reminded what we’re fighting for, what our armed forces are willing to die for, what this country was built for and what our flag flies for: liberty and justice, for all.This is one of those sacred moments. Today, around the country, we, the people, stand together in protest, proclaiming our fidelity to love over hate, progress over regress, and inclusion over exclusion.Today, spiritual resistance is Black, Latino and white folks fighting—together—the systemic racism that is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, and working—together—to welcome immigrants and refugees to our country with dignity and compassion, for we, too, were strangers.

23 january 2017

Here’s What You Can Do to Defeat Trump

No one person can fight all of this, but no one person needs to. Wherever you put your effort in the coming days and years, your effort is needed. Whatever work you do to fight this crisis is important work. What’s vital is not what precisely you do, but that you do something—that you pitch in and lend a hand.

We meed robust networks of friends and allies

Love Doesn’t Trump Hate. Accountability Does.

Perhaps this is why seeing another white person holding a “Love Trumps Hate” sign makes me cringe and nearly ready to go home. It is not hate people of color are facing, its violence, deportation, seizure of land, denied resources, and murder. People of color have always dealt with hatred, that is the reality of our existence under white supremacy. Reducing it to hate is a mischaracterization of our grievances. We are not protesting against hate because hate is a feeling. We are protesting against oppression and domination. We are protesting against the predictably of whiteness–that it will always win, which inevitably means we have lost.

The solution to our president-elect is not love, it is accountability. Love is a Band-Aid solution that allows white folks to continue to evade accountability. To continue to avoid the reality that the overwhelming majority of white folks elected Trump and those who didn’t were at the very least complacent. Accountability is essential to creating these loving and supportive communities that are wrongfully imagined as solutions. Love is only effective alongside working to dismantle white supremacy, it is not a solution in itself. Hushing white supremacy into corners with idealist solutions of love are ineffective, because white supremacy, as evident in the 2016 presidential election, will inevitably re-emerge.

24 jan 2017

Meet The Women Who Run The Raddest Non-Girl Scout Troop Around

radical social justice education for girls

From the beginning, Martinez wanted the group to take a radical, feminist approach to social justice issues. “Radical Monarchs exists because of this need for inclusion and this need for centering radical women of color’s narratives and stories,” she says. “Who do we need to bring in? Whose voice do they not hear enough of and who do they hear about all the time?”
To that end, she and Hollinquest are giving their troop the kind of social justice education most women don’t get until college, let alone in traditional youth scouting programs.
Each unit starts in the classroom, and focuses on topics like the Black Lives Matter movement and redefining what it means to be a beautiful girl. To earn their Radical Pride badge, the group carried signs in The San Francisco Trans March; they got their Radical Beauty badges after making their own lip balm and talking about unrealistic beauty standards in Disney movies (the girls’ idea); for the Radical Roots badge, the Monarchs met with Betty Reid Soskin, a 94 year old National Park Ranger who has worked to recognize the contributions of African American women during WWII.

26 January 2017

How to Stay Outraged

 Professional organizers and veteran activists have strategies for staying sane during a long fight. If you’re serious about sticking it out in the picket lines for the duration of the Trump presidency, you’re going to have to learn these strategies or else burn out in the first six months.


  • Don’t Get Used to Trump, Get Away from Him

Unplug. Take a break from it. Without a break, you can become numb, lose your outrage and begin accepting all of it as normal.

We have to stay outraged for the next four years and resist the powerful urge to adapt to the new normal. But that doesn’t mean you have to live the next four years in a constant state of anxiety and anger. It means, when you think about Trump and his minions, the appropriate feeling is outrage. But you can’t live like that all the time, and that means you have to spend a significant amount of time thinking about Trump and all the work that has to be done. Do not get used to Trump — get away from him.

NOTE: I found some of this article to be helpful but bristled when the author wrote:

don’t allow yourself to be shamed for being new to the game. Ignore people who tell you that your protests of Trump are hypocritical because you didn’t protest Obama. That’s hogwash for many reasons, but most importantly, YOU ARE HERE NOW AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. Do not engage in activist one-upmanship, and don’t allow yourself to be shamed for not being fully briefed and up to date on everything, for not spending your days glued to CSPAN and Twitter, for not making someone else’s number one issue yours as well. That is a demand for emotional labor from you, and you do not have to give it.

This seems like an attack on activists of color who call for intersectionality and challenge those white feminists who have largely ignored the issues of women of color. I disagree with how she encourages people to not be self-reflective about why they are only now invested in these issues. Here are a few critical responses to this line of thinking:

Trump Syllabus 3.0

This course explores one of the most unanticipated events in modern political history: the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States of America. We ask three basic questions: How did Trump win? Where (and whom) did he win? And why did he win?

Students will finish the course with a deeper understanding of this singular event and find themselves equipped with the knowledge and facts required to consider its implications for their own generation and for generations to come.

27 January 2017

Resources, Info and Tips for Activism Right Now