Thursday, November 17, 2016

And now...the Resistance

The United States just elected Donald Trump and his platform, built on hate and destruction.  Our first and best line of defense was to elect Hillary Clinton.  That effort failed.  For those of us who care about and love:

  • Our sacred planet
  • People of color
  • Immigrants
  • LGBT people
  • Muslims
  • People with disabilities
  • Women's rights (even though a good chunk of White women voted against them..but many of us did not)
  • Adherents of minority religions
Our job now is to consolidate and build the resistance.  The outcome is unclear.  It is, in fact, totally up to us.

However, I am also a witch.  In times of great turmoil, in times when we are standing on the threshold of disaster...and make no mistake...that is where we these times, we can also break some of our chains that we maybe didn't even realize that we had.

I am now going to begin using this little blog to organize information relevant to building the resistance.  Many of us have been doing a lot of Facebook.  That is ephemeral.  We won't be able to find it later.  I am going to start putting it here.

I have some immediate principles that I am going to get down now.
  1. We must face the world as it actually is.  We cannot hide behind fantasy.  Don't let hope keep you from planning.
  2. No one is going to save us.  It is up to us.
  3. This is not a sprint.  Therefore we must consciously build our individual capacity and the capacity in our communities to keep going.  That means self-care and cultivating joy.  Grim determination only really works when it is an expression of love.  Most importantly...we need to be spending time with people, face to face and build our joy.  We will need it.
  4. The way to play a dirty propaganda war is to get the opposition to turn on each other.  The left is prone to being manipulated in this way.  Analyze everything through the lens of functional analysis.  What does this or that piece, DO?  Before you write something or say something in a public forum, what does it DO?  If it undermines solidarity, don't give it your power.
  5. Given the above, we all need to develop a pretty thick skin.  People who should be our allies will be manipulated.  When they are, disengage and follow your own conscience.  Don't give the sovereignty of your mind to anyone else.  People lash out in grief and pain.  If you feel yourself about to do it, go write in a diary...not on social media.
  6. We can't let ourselves be made hate-full.  I am angry and I will do what I need to do to stop our nation from using its power to unleash hate, but I do not want the rights of others stripped away, even if I disagree with them.  If we become filled with hate ourselves, we lose.
  7. Don't let yourself be gaslighted.  I have been told that I am acting hatefully.  I know that I'm not.  Denying Christians the ability to force their values on the rest of us is not denying them the ability to live by their values.  Standing up against hate and speaking out loudly against it is not hating the other side.  A minority is wielding the power of government with no checks and balances because the system is rigged in its favor.  Refusing to give into that does not make you a sore loser, hateful, or anything else.  Check your own heart and be honest with yourself, but don't let someone else tell you what your Truth is.
  8. Don't under-estimate the power of good symbolic action.  I'm a witch and scholar of religious studies.  The left has severely underestimated the power of real symbolic action.  Something like the safety, frankly, isn't that someone being harassed is going to be looking around for a safety pin.  It is deterrence.  If someone prone to be harassing someone in a hijab were to get on a bus and see 8 people around wearing safety pins, they will think twice about harassing someone.  It's a display of numbers and force.  Additionally, we KNOW that taking symbolic action increases commitment, solidarity and the willingness to take riskier actions.  
  9. Don't over-estimate the power of symbolic action.  This is also going to take a lot of real action.
  10. We must educate ourselves more thoughtfully.  Read real news.  Read history.  Read analysis.  But also, do not give up the sovereignty of your mind.  Read critically and think.


Pam said...

Thank you Gwendolyn. This is a great blueprint! May I just add one thing to things we care about and love? Domestic and wild creatures well being :)

Gwendolyn said...

I will absolutely take that as a friendly amendment!