Don’t Boo, Act

img_9212Something happened on Tuesday night besides the Lakers losing. For the past few days I’ve been having crying spells and Twitter is still a storm. But despite everything, I live in California, I’m financially stable, I’m not Muslim or Hispanic, and I do have a good amount of privilege. To Donald J. Trump I say this: I am not going to go away. I am going to fight your racist and sexist ideals in every way I can.  

So to all privileged folks who feel the same way, how are we going to deal with a Trump presidency? Well, here are a few ways….

  1. Donate: Everyone is tight on cash now, I get it. But right now, it’s more vital than ever that organizations mobilizing for reproductive rights/LGBTQ rights/racial equality are funded, especially since a Trump administration puts their federal funding status in jeopardy. Waive a Starbucks coffee for a week, budget some money if you can, and make a monthly commitment to donate. Here are a few links to start with:
  1. Speak: Don’t stay silent when witnessing racism and sexual harassment. Here’s an incident I experienced last February:

While tuning out on BART and reading a book, I saw through the side of my eye three people sitting in two seats. I turned and saw an older man squeezed into a seat with his hand around two girls. He was talking to them, smiling and ignoring their quiet pleas for him to leave them alone. I took off my earphones and shouted at him to move away from them. After a (thankfully!) nonviolent exchange, he got up and left them alone.

If you witness something, INTERVENE, DO NOT STAY SILENT UNLESS YOU FEEL THREATENED. Trump did not become president because of active racism, he rose because of indifference towards racism. This rule applies at the dining table with your family as well. It is incredibly difficult when it involves people you love, but hold your ground. Make it clear it’s not personal, but it is incredibly important. If you’re not in a position to speak up, at least do so afterwards. A few words of consolation (e.g. “I’m sorry that happened, know that you’re supported and wanted”) can really make a difference.

  1. Volunteer: Wherever. The homeless shelter, the anxiety text hotline, right now there are multiple organizations that are understaffed but can’t afford to hire on additional people. If you have the time, use it. Address social issues directly instead of lambasting them. A few examples:
  • Upset about educational disparities? Volunteer to tutor via organizations that support underrepresented populations
  • Passionate about reproductive rights? Volunteer for abortion hotlines
  • With ACA in jeopardy, mental health might be on the line. Volunteer for local crisis hotlines. If you prefer something more clinical, try volunteering at the local hospital; every person makes a difference there!
  1. Stay Informed: Again your mental health comes first. Tune out of the news if it’s too much. But do your best to stay up-to-date on what’s happening, not just on the federal level, but the state and local level as well. If you disagree with a new city ordinance, mobilize, make a public comment, speak up. Contact your local representatives (state government AND federal). We have social media to connect now, and we can use it to promote our causes.
  2. Avoid Finger Pointing: This is the hardest one. Even now, I feel anger, guilt, and fear. I have to remind myself that yelling at Trump supporters and cursing them as “deplorables” is not going to help the situation. Trump’s presidency isn’t a result of one factor; it’s a combination of the GOP, Democratic Party, and the media. Don’t yell at your friend for being a Republican; again, NOT GOING TO HELP. The New York Times put together a helpful reading list to explain this year’s election results, and I encourage you to read it. Also The Naked Truth: Trumpland was insightful. Which brings me to…..
  3. Forgive: Forgive yourself and forgive others. In the past few days, I’ve been berating myself for not phone banking or volunteering for the campaign. But in the end, none of that is going to help communities that are currently at risk. Anger is valid and understandable but allowing it to take over, rather than channeling it, will not help you or anyone.

Comment if you disagree or have some more to add!

Also a personal request to Mr. Trump: please don’t try to speak Hindi in another commercial, my ears still hurt from the last one.

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