Where do I pick up the gauntlet and fight? There are so many battles. There are not only presidential cabinet nominees that seem, for the most part, interested in eradicating the agencies they are supposed to be serving but it’s also getting impossible to keep up with the presidential directives. For example: Stopping airport arrivals including green card holders from seven Muslim-majority countries except from those like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, which really did export terrorists to our shores; Putting millions of women at risk around the world by defunding organizations not only for abortions but for any family planning like condoms to reduce HIV transmissions; Revival of the Dakota Pipeline despite the imperilment of Native American water supplies and disturbance of sacred burial sites; Building the Mexican Wall perhaps financed by 20% on Mexican imports, which will set in motion like action in Mexico, which currently imports close to 20% of US exports. There have probably been a half dozen more directives since I started writing this.
Yes, I am calling my Congress representatives of BOTH parties to tell them to take actions that take better care of ALL of us and our planet. If I had the funds I’d be donating to dozens of organizations that just might possibly curtail some of this dangerous nonsense. My newest hero is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which blocked President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim Ban. Planned Parenthood has received more than 300,000 donations since the election.
What about our Independent Media and the Free Press? This is a very, very dangerous time. We need watchdogs to make sure we are getting the reality behind the White House and the president’s surrogates’ lies and distortions. One that I’m going to be following is https://www.propublica.org/ , which produces investigative journalism in the public interest.
We need to remain vigilant and to fight back whenever, however we can. Standing up and being counted at the Women’s March in Washington DC was a beginning. Now, I commit myself to make the phone calls to legislators even as I wonder about their effectiveness; to offer a safe space to people, who are experiencing hate and discrimination; to support organizations that are protecting the rights that we have fought for over so many decades; and to keep myself informed as best I can through honest reporting from all and any media that is standing up to the fear and anger that seem to be dominating actions in DC.
But, I must also find hope for the future; otherwise, I will drown in the endless flow of negatives news and actions spewing forth from DC. So, I dedicate myself to informing myself about and following the efforts of those people and organizations that are creating a more hopeful future through their actions on the grassroots level. Organizations that I am focusing on include systemic change, successful grassroots projects, inspiring stories about cities, and uplifting video interviews with change-makers around the country.
Jan Roberts is Founder of Cultural Innovations Agency and has been a community builder locally and nationally for over 40 years.