Okay, friends, let’s talk about going to protests and weaponizing our whiteness, if in fact we are white.
You know what the protesters who marched with Dr. King wore? Their best. Their clergy stoles, their suits. If you’re a doctor or a nurse? Wear your scrubs. If you’re a parent? Wear your PTA shirt if it’s too hot for a suit. If you’re a student? Dress like you’re going to go volunteer somewhere nice, or wear a t-shirt that proclaims you a member of your high school band, your drama group, your church youth group. Whatever it is, make sure it’s right there with your white face.
This is literally the tactic of the people who marched with King in the 60s, and we need to bring it back, and bring it back HARD.
I do this all the time when I go to marches. I wear my cutest, least-offensive geeky t-shirt, crocs and black pants, or I wear my t-shirt that mentions my kid’s school district, or now I’ll wear the pink t-shirt that says I’m part of the Sisterhood at my shul. If it’s cold enough, I wear a cardigan and jeans and sit my ass in my wheelchair. (I need to anyway.) I put signs on my wheelchair that say things like ‘I love my trans daughter’ and 'love for all trans children’ or something else that applies to the event. Dress like you are going to an interview if you can, or make yourself look like a parent going to pick up a gallon of milk at the corner store. Make yourself “respectable.” Use respectability politics and whiteness AS A WEAPON.
Fuck yes I will weaponize the fact that I look like a white soccer mom. And you should do this too if you can. Weaponize the fuck out of your whiteness. If you are disabled and comfortable with doing so, turn ableism on its head and weaponize it. Make it so that the cameras that WILL be pointed at you see your whiteness, see your status as a parent, see your status as a community member. See you in your wheelchair or with your cane. If you have privilege or a status that allows you to use it as a weapon or a shield, use it as a shield to defend others or a weapon to break through the bullshit.
You wanna be an ally? You wanna “punch Nazis?” Keep reading. Look, people. This is fucking serious. Please read.
We aren’t glitter bombing Nazis. We aren’t throwing flour on them. We definitely aren’t going to peacefully shut them down. They want to kill us, they said so in Charlottesville. They made it very clear where they stand and how they plan on taking action. Their violence needs to be met with great force.
If you are not down to physically fight these fuckers, please stay off the front lines. You’ll get hurt and your pacifism will be a liability, resulting in others being hurt. Run support. We need more support.
-Go to a street medic training -Run jail support -If you’re good at using the internet (as in better than average), learn how to securely (and correctly) doxx these people. -If you’re a creative type, write a zine about anti-fascism -If you’re EMT trained, HOST a street medic training -Become a legal observer through the National Lawyers Guild -Set up letter writing events to send to political prisoners -There’s a lot of parents who want to fight but can’t because of their kids, watch their kids for them -If you can cook, organize food drives/pot lucks for the larger demonstrations. -Help people in more counseling/therapy ways. -Help get needed supplies, such as food, water, and medical supplies. -When organizing, inclusivity is not optional, and is mandatory to win. -Listen to the concerns of those most effected.
The Trump administration is working on a plan to severely narrow the legal definition of gender, according to a report in The New York Times on Sunday.
The proposed policy, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, would define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” meaning it would define gender as either male or female as determined by genitalia at birth. Any dispute about an individual’s gender would require genetic testing. This would have major repercussions for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities ― particularly in regard to health care.
You’ve likely seen people coming out in droves to encourage others to vote; it’s one of the most important things you can do as an American. Casting ballots at the federal, state and local levels affects transgender rights. Check Vote.org for ways to promote turnout in your area. Call your friends and family members nearby to go to the polls with you, and remind those in other states to vote too.
Being an ally isn’t just patting your trans or nonbinary friends on the back or retweeting them occasionally. It’s about respect and fighting for their rights. The first step to being a good ally is educating yourself on the basics — knowing someone’s preferred pronouns, avoiding stereotypes and learning what policies in government directly affect the trans and gender nonconforming communities. You can find a primer on those issues and more here.
Promote helpful resources and trans-led organizations
While many “prominent national organizations are not led by trans or nonbinary people,” many are and need help on both the national and local levels. Some of those organizations, according to Out magazine are: Audre Lorde Project, Casa Ruby, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Fierce, Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas, Southerners on New Ground, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Trans Latin@ Coalition, Trans Law Center and Trans Lifeline. More comprehensive lists can be found at the Trans Justice Funding Project and Borealis Philanthropy’s Fund for Trans Generations.
Sharing numbers like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) and Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 can be immensely helpful for those in crisis.
Share the work of trans activists and journalists
Groups like Lambda Legal, the ACLU and the Transgender Law Center are legal organizations that ofter extensive information about trans rights and policies that affect them. Keep an eye on their social media pages to see if they’re holding events you can take part in or to share their messaging.
Additionally, sharing the work of trans and gender nonconforming journalists helps spread the messaging being put out by the community for the community. Too often, work about the trans community is written by people who are not members of that community ― which can be completely OK, as long as it’s done correctly. This piece in Them does an excellent job of explaining the problem with media organizations not hiring trans reporters to cover trans issues.
I’m a high school physics and chemistry teacher. I have a B.S. in Physics and my Master’s degree in science education. I started going to school to become an astrophysicist, because I fell in love with the stars. I became a teacher because I also fell in love with teaching, I love learning, and I know I can make a difference in helping increase science literacy.
My Dad sent this to me today. It’s only funny because of how devistatingly true it is. My family and friends worry about my financial situation. I hate that. I hate that this country doesn’t value education. This is why so many teachers leave after the first year, they aren’t supported. I’ve seen colleagues who are amazing science teachers leave their positions because they aren’t able to support their families.
Please consider what these teacher protests are really about, and support your teachers.
I really loved this video. Even if you don’t like Bill Maher or my liberal views, I think it’s worth the watch.
When she joined a “swim-in” in St. Augustine, Florida on June 18, 1964, then 17-year-old Mamie Nell Ford had little idea that her picture would soon be seen around the world – and help spur the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. On that day, seven civil rights activists, including Ford, jumped into the segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge to protest its ‘whites-only’ policy. As journalists looked on, the motel owner’s James Brock responded by dumping acid into the pool in an effort to drive them out. Ford recalls that her immediate reaction was “I couldn’t breathe,” and a photo of her with an alarmed expression as Brock pours acid nearby appeared in newspapers around the world. When people learn about the incident today, Ford says, “I’m often asked, ‘How could you have so much courage?’ Courage for me is not ‘the absence of fear,’ but what you do in the face of fear.”
The campaign to challenge segregation in St. Augustine in 1963 and 1964, known as the St. Augustine Movement, is considered one of the bloodiest of the Civil Rights Movement. Students staging “wade-ins” to challenge segregation on the beaches were violently beaten and, after several black children were admitted into white schools due to the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing school segregation, several of the children’s homes were burnt to the ground by local segregationists. Martin Luther King, Jr. was even arrested on the steps of this same motel only a week prior to the pool “swim-in,” after being charged with trespassing when he attempted to dine at the “whites-only” Monson Restaurant.
Prior to the pool “swim-in”, Ford was already an experienced civil rights activist in her hometown of Albany, Georgia. When Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference came to Albany to recruit activists to support the movement in St. Augustine, she immediately signed up. “When they asked for volunteers to participate in the swim-in demonstration, I said, yes, because, despite segregation, I knew how to swim,” she says. While they knew it was likely they would be arrested, no one expected the owner to pour acid into the pool. “It is as fresh in my mind as the morning dew, because when the acid was poured in the pool, the water began to bubble up,” Ford recalls. Although the group was arrested shortly thereafter, their protest had the intended effect: as it made headlines worldwide, President Johnson said in a recorded phone conservation: “Our whole foreign policy will go to hell over this!” Within 24 hours, the civil rights bill that had been introduced a year before and had been stalled in the Senate won approval, leading directly to the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.
After being released from serving jail time for the swim-in, Ford made a powerful statement urging the people of St. Augustine to keep fighting: “Don’t lose heart now because you’re the ones on whom this movement rests. People will come and go because they live somewhere else, but you live here and you make this thing happen.” She returned home and went on to join five other black girls to lead the desegregation of the formerly all-white Albany High School, where she graduated with honors in 1965. Ford, who later changed her name to Mimi Jones, then went to college in Boston where she spent her career working in the Department of Education.
Although less well known than school segregation, the long legacy of segregation in swimming pools still lives on today. After legal challenges and actions like this one in St. Augustine forced the end of segregated pools, in many towns, especially in the South, ‘white flight’ from public pools to private clubs often led to their closure. The impact of first segregation and later pool closures over generations has led to a major gap between white and black Americans in swimming ability, with whites being twice as likely to know how to swim as blacks. This difference is also reflected in the CDC finding that black children are three times more likely die from drowning than white children. For these reasons and the long legacy of racism at swimming pools, Simone Manuel’s victory at the last Olympic Games took on special meaning for many African Americans – a significance the young swimmer alluded to after she became the first African-American woman to ever win an individual Olympic gold in swimming: “The gold medal wasn’t just for me,“ she said. "It’s for a lot of people who came before me.”