I am sitting here again with my friend Deb—you can see our first conversation here, where we were excited about the activism ensuing from the Women’s March. A photo essay of the Los Angeles Women’s March is here. However, like so many conversations we are all having still, we ask each other— “after the first 100 days…what do we do now?” We are speaking of the first 100 days of the 45th president. When we last got together, we gave a list of options for doing activism as a daily part of life. In this blog, we want to expand on that idea.
Let’s first take stock of where we have gone since the last blog that Deb and I collaborated on February 24th . . Among other things Trump accused President Obama of illegally wiretapping his phones. Here is a list of many other terrifying things he has done. As we write this, we have also recently bombed Syria, sent warships to Korea, and appointed an extremely conservative Supreme Court Justice, because the Republican Senate voted to remove the ability to filibuster, which allowed Gorsuch’s appointment to go through with only 54 votes (rather than the formally required 60).
We are also sitting here in Southern California which recently had another school gun shooting in San Bernardino (April 10, 2017), in a special needs classroom where three were killed—two adults and one student. During the last 100 days, remember that, on February 15th, this Senate voted to let mentally ill people carry guns.
And—Trump gave states the right to defund Planned Parenthood if they want to, (overturning Obama’s Health and Human Services’ rule that guaranteed funding).
People have not been passively sitting by and letting this all happen. We have been busy. We fought for and kept Obama care, the Affordable Care Act. We fought the Muslim ban and it has been defeated three times, and it looks like we are on track for an independent investigation into Russia’s involvement in Trump’s presidency.
So—we’ll ask this again as we did two months ago—what can we do where we don’t give up and we can continue to RESIST?
In addition to the “late night list” we posed last time (see blog here again) here’s some other considerations:
Support accurate media: Independent as well as mainstream media is threatened right now, especially in terms of being able to have access to this administration. Here you can see how media outlets that Trump dislikes, among them the LA Times, were barred from the news room. Access to media is one of the main ways we can fight back—through getting accurate information, i.e., having true freedom of the press. We need to rely on accurate media, support media and be sure that the media we are getting is accurate.
Getting accurate news: Not sure if that posting on social media is real or “fake news”? Here’s a way to check. One of the easiest ways to check if something seems to be too absurd to be believed? Go onto Snopes and check it out, or Fact.org.
Find your activist passion: This whole administration can feel extremely
overwhelming. One way to handle that feeling is to find something that you are passionate about. Read the news and find an organization and/or cause out there that you are passionate about. Stay with that for a while. Write the letters. Donate the money that will help that organization stay afloat, and that will bring that issue into the mainstream. For instance, I (Marie) am passionate about climate change and saving the world’s oceans. I am a frequent donator to Ocean Conservancy, and Heal the Bay (local to Southern California) as well as a member of both aquariums in my city area.
One of the things Deb is passionate about right now is health insurance and Medicare. Writing letters to her Congress people, as well as to the President, and staying abreast of the news regarding health care is a way for Deb to focus her energies. She also spends time at assisted living facilities visiting folks who are significantly older than her, and brings animals to help with aging seniors’ quality of life. She’s also concerned with single payer state health care and does not want the state of California to rely on the federal system.
The above are examples of taking care of the elderly and our planet. The reality for this administration is that “make America great again,” has looked like “make America great again” for the conservative, wealthy right. America really is a melting pot—what makes us great is our diversity. Caring for that is what makes us great, as witnessed by our symbol—the Statue of Liberty. Whether it is the climate, the elderly, children, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, education…or even science…find your passion and help to keep the progress on those issues that we have so far.
Hang out with people in real time: Meeting with people in real time, face to face is a revolutionary act—especially in a historical time dominated by social media. And it may be necessary in the future, if social media and electronic communication becomes constrained—which it may become in the future, if this administration continues with censorship. One nation-wide group that meets in person that is very active is INDIVISIBLE; you can find a local group here.
Recently, independent theaters banded together to screen the film 1984 on April 4th, when the book starts. 1984, by George Orwell, is a book (and movie) that is about a severely dystopian society that punishes free thinkers. Over 200 theaters screened the movie on April 4th to crowds across the nation—not only showing the movie, but also creating a network of informal town halls where people can gather in the future. Find out about your local indie theater and see if you can participate in future screenings and be informed about them.
Humor: Find humor to get you through. Saturday Night Live has been amazing lately, and you can watch re-runs here. Deb and I particularly liked the Melissa McCarthy recent sketch about the Easter message from Sean Spicer.
In conclusion: Feel free to add and comment below—and continue to #RESIST.
And as we said last time, and repeat here… support those who are doing good. Write thank you notes. Tell people you care about that you do care. Stay upbeat if you can and strive to stay in the game. Stay involved. And very importantly, as this struggle continues, figure out when to take a break.
As always make art. Make love. Tell the truth. Keep fighting.
And…keep on keeping on!
Marie Cartier. Dr. Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall(Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine. She is also a published poet and playwright, accomplished performance artist, scholar, and social change activist. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) and an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting), both from UCLA; and an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University. She is co-chair of the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion session of the national American Academy of Religion and co-chair at the regional level of the Queer Studies in Religion session, founder of the western region Queer Caucus, and a perma-blogger for Feminism and Religion. She is also a first degree black belt in karate, Shorin-Ryu Shi-Do-Kan Kobayashi style, and a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified Hatha Yoga teacher.