I never really wanted to be an activist.
I’m a me, I’m a citizen. I’ve got a job and kids and stuff to do. I have hobbies. I have chores to ignore. I wanted to do as little as possible involving politics, and just live my life.
And then 2016 hit, and it scared the shit out of me. It scared the shit out of a lot of us. It’s clearly time for a whole hell of a lot of us to get involved…to become activists. But of course, we don’t want to.
Do it anyway. Do it for five minutes a week, or a day. Do more if you want. But things have changed. You’re going to have to pursue your own liberty.
What you can do
Activism doesn’t have to be a career. I’m a reluctant case study, so I know. A handful of effective things you can do, that take very little time:
- Read the Indivisible Guide to resisting Trump. Amazing stuff.
- Register to vote. Super not hard.
- Vote in your local, state, and federal elections.
- Get out the vote! Volunteer with your district for the voting effort. Just search for your county name and “Democrats” and ask those folks how to help.
- Donate to the ACLU (civil liberties), the EFF (digital rights), Planned Parenthood (health and women’s services) or the organization of your choice.
- Follow this blog, and/or sign up for our mailing list. We’ll give you more stuff you can do.
What I believe in
I’ve never had to make a list like this before, but I’m running this activism blog now, you see. So I should get a few things out there:
- The Constitution: The USA has a document that outlines the rules for how its government is supposed to behave. I’m especially fond of certain amendments, of course, but I will fight anyone who messes with the U.S. Constitution.
- Freedom of Speech: Freedom of speech as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. Note that the 1st doesn’t mean that everyone has to listen to you, but it DOES say that the government absolutely CANNOT tell you to shut your face hole. (There’s a little more complexity to it – I’ve studied the 1st, at least – but that really is what it boils down to.)
- Freedom of Religion: Back to the 1st Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” That’s not just a guarantee for the majority religion; it’s for all religions, and for agnosticism, and for atheism. America is for them all.
- Separation of Church and State: The government should not meddle in the church, or try to establish an official religion. The church should not have undue influence in the government. (If nothing else, how are you going to guarantee that it’s your religion that’s going to be the one in charge?)
- Racism is bad: I’m bloody stunned that this bears saying in the first place, but it does. Racism is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very very bad, and I typed all of those “very”s by hand instead of copy pasting. Racism against black people is bad. Against Jewish people. Against Mexican people. Against ANY SINGLE KIND OF PERSON YOU CAN THINK OF. It’s bad to be racist. Don’t do it.
- Homophobia is bad: I’m only slightly less stunned that I have to say this, but I will: people who are gay, are just people who are attracted to and fall in love with people of their own gender. Folk who are bisexual, are attracted to and fall in love with people of either gender. And so on. They are not freaks or bad people or likely to attack you and yours. At least, they’re not going to do so in any greater numbers than the straight population will. Just….gay people are people. Stop being an asshole about it.
- Health care is good.
- Women’s reproductive rights are good.
- Sex education and good access to contraception is very, very good.
I believe in a lot more than that, as will become clear. This list will grow. But this is a good place to start.
Why are the articles signed “YANA”?
I started all of this by writing “You Are Not Alone” in chalk on sidewalks all over my town. You Are Not Alone…it’s an excellent thing to remember.