Still Resisting

On November 8, 2016, I wore my pantsuit and stuffed a bunch of Kleenexes in my pocket. I was certain we’d be electing our first female president that night and I’d be sobbing tears of joy. Turns out I did cry that night, but for different reasons. During 2016, I’d watched and read with growing horror the rhetoric of our now-President’s campaign. On election night, I thought of all the people, values and ideals I held dear and knew they were – and would continue to be – under attack.

I am a member of the resistance. I resist the bigotry, racism, hatred, xenophobia, sexism, and white supremacy that have gained power in our nation. I watch democratic norms and institutions tremble, and I take a stand against the force that seek to tear us down.

The amount of information about the resistance has been impressive, encouraging, and sometimes overwhelming. As a writer and librarian, my instincts are to preserve, organize and disseminate information.

I care about a lot of issues. Racial justice. Immigration. DACA. Reproductive freedom. Climate change. Net neutrality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. Dismantling the patriarchy. I frequently take action about all of these issues, but I also know how important it is to focus energy and intent. So I keep coming back to voting rights. Again and again.

When we vote, we make our voices heard. We are active participants in our democracy. Voting is sacred to me. One hundred years ago, I would not have been allowed to vote for the ridiculous reason that I’m a woman. Fifty years ago, people I love more than anything in the world would not have been allowed to vote in some parts of the country simply because of the color of their skin.

Voting is my core issue. Nor is it a partisan issue (even though gerrymandering makes it so). I will move heaven and earth to get you to the polls, no matter who you’re going to vote for. I just hope you’ve thought about your vote, about the issues that are important to you, and that you’ve done careful and considered research. Even if you haven’t, I’ll still drive you to the polls and make sure your voice gets heard.

You can find links to information about voting rights in the drop down menu above (under Resistance Resources), as well as a few other topics, including libraries as places of resistance and self care.

“Congress Shall Make No Law…

… respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As a writer, a librarian, a citizen, a blogger, a member of a religious minority, and a newly-minted marcher, the First Amendment gives me chills whenever I read it. It one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and it is also one of my top three issues for the coming four years.

So when Steve Bannon calls the press the “opposition party” and says the press should just keep its mouth shut (and is backed by 45 himself), we have a problem.

There have been several pieces floating around that speculate on how intentional – or not – the administration has been, and what it means for the country. Are members of the administration deliberately and relentlessly setting up means to destroy democratic institutions….or are they just incompetent?

We can’t know another person’s intentions fully. But these actions and resulting consequences bear close watch. We cannot afford to look away, given the tone that the administration is setting about the press, not to mention what Ajit Pai’s appointment to the Federal Communications Commission might mean for net neutrality (more on this in a later post). And not to mention legislation in several states, including my own, to limit the rights of protesters. To say nothing of how the unAmerican ban on immigrants from primarily Muslim countries favors Christianity.

The 45th president poses a serious threat to our First Amendment rights. But as David Cole eloquently spells out, our First Amendment rights are the ones that will help us maintain our republic.

Here are a few recent articles about First Amendment rights, including this one by my talented and insightful colleague.

And just let this line from a recent Washington Post Op-Ed sink in: “The bottom line is that facts and reality are major problems for the Trump administration.”

And thanks to another librarian friend for sharing this list of alt and rogue Twitter accounts.