|"We won't go back" rally at the capitol in Augusta, Maine on 11/18/16|
Two things I learned yesterday: 1) young people have been radicalized by the election of an avowed homophobe, misogynyst and white supremacist who publicly mocked a reporter with disabilities; and 2) there's a campaign to contact electors of the infamous electoral college -- which has been used to rig elections in the U.S. for generations -- to change their pledged vote before casting it on December 19. You can get the list of their emails to ask them yourself on this website: AsktheElectors.org.
I learned from this young mother whose son ran up to join her as I took her photo after she spoke.
Me: Are you proud of your mom?
Mom: I'm proud of him! He made his own sign for today.
A local tv news station covered the rally organized by college student Emma Donnelly. Their coverage completely ignored the real news, which was the strong presence and voice of young activists -- very young in some cases. Instead, the corporate "news" invited an old white man who supports Trump to disparage the protests sweeping the nation.
Hearing children speak from their hearts, stumble over their words and be less than eloquent at the megaphone while the audience was patient with their process left me feeling encouraged and hopeful about the silver lining in these dark, dark times.
I think we would all do well to be guided by the thinking of organizations that have been on the front lines during two Obama administrations. You know, the times when things were supposedly ok. Except for racialized state-sanctioned killings and environmental destruction all over the planet.
Black Agenda Report's Glenn Ford shared this wisdom on the BAR blog this week in a history minded post called "None Are My Presidents":
On November 6, after their annual march on the White House, the organizations of the Black is Back Coalition ratified a 19-point document that puts self-determination at the heart of the broadest range of issues confronting Black America:
“Every central demand, every strategy of struggle, must be formulated with the goal of self-determination in mind. Otherwise, the movement will allow itself to be drowned in reformist schemes and projects that bind Black people even more tightly to structures of outside control.” The points range from “Black Community Control of Police,” to “Halting Gentrification,” to “Nationalization of the Banks.”Now you may be thinking, isn't emailing the electors a reformist scheme? And wouldn't I in fact be implicitly asking them to vote for the odious warmonger that the Democrats nominated?
Yes, and yes. But the email took less than five minutes to send. That's about as much time as I'm willing to spend on reformist schemes. I didn't want the warmonger, either, but the rise in hate language and hate crimes since Trump got enough electoral votes to be president is horrifying.
Here's a facebook post from Shay Stewart-Bouley creator of the blog Black Girl in Maine:
Our system is beyond reform at this point. Only revolution will save us.
The U.S. has lost the consent of the governed. But look at all the love young people are bringing to our ongoing struggle. I stand (or sit if I need to) with them.