5 ways to say f*ck trump with active resistance, instead of paying the inauguration any mind

January 20, 2017

I’m not sad or angry or frustrated about today’s presidential inauguration, I’m more concerned about how we can organize and resist Trump’s policies. Although Barack Obama was not the perfect president by any stretch of the imagination, at least we knew that he valued the lives that so often are found within the AFROPUNK community: Black and brown people, LGBTQ folks, undocumented immigrants, and the differently abled. But this new era of American history will not and cannot come without resistance, organized or freeform, grassroots and bureaucratic, in every industry, every sector, every dimension of society. So choose something to protect and get to protecting it. Here’s a guide to get you started.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photo by Frank Leon Roberts

Pick a cause, any cause
One of my primary passions is access and equity in higher education but I realize that that comes from a place of privilege. There are plenty of other issues that need addressing but just because they exist, doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily the best person to tackle those obstacles, but lending a hand and bit of head and heart space to other struggles is the name of the game. So if you’re passionate about the environment, police brutality, equitable education, arts programs, the prison industrial complex, inequalities in criminal justice, rights for felons and their families, LGBTQ rights and protection, support for the differently abled, Native sovereignty etc. the time is now to choose to invest in those struggles and the organizations making a difference in them. Make a list of the most important causes to you and get to it! We cannot wait, which brings me to my next point…

Support the cause with money, time, and expertise
It’s really that simple. We are our biggest resource. So if you want to truly make a difference, put some money behind the cause. Help to keep your local Planned Parenthood funded through donations or take up a collection at your church to help fund school supplies at the local school or provide meals for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it. If not money, then invest your time into progressive causes. Get involved with the local chapter of the ACLU or help assemble a cleanup crew to beautify your neighborhoods before it becomes a target for gentrification. Organize, organize, organize, then organize some more!

Learn about your local and state elected officials
The president is only as important as we make him. The lobbyists in your state representatives’ ears, the corporations courting your mayor–and many of these positions have elections yearly or biennially. Does his decision making affect the country as a whole? Absolutely. Is it possible for him to make tragically life-altering changes overnight? Technically, but let’s hope not! Our day to day lives are dictated infinitely more directly by our local and state officials and political network. So research the way your city/town works: is there a city council? What decisions do they make? What is your school board voting about? What about the judges? It’s a decent amount of research, but after you learn it, share it! It’s not enough to know the skinny and not tell your fellow human about what’s going on. So read up and get your friends and family hip to what you know.

Organize for independent campaigns
It is my belief that a two party system can never truly make the radical changes necessary to make this country as free and equal as we know it can be. I also don’t believe that the presidential election is where we start to make independent candidates matter. That must start with local and state elections. Bernie Sanders, for instance, has been a legislator for nearly 50 years, but he started as the mayor of Burlington, VT first. It’s impossible to garner widespread support for independent candidates if their experience doesn’t compare to their opponents (I know what you’re thinking, the orange man is the anomaly of all anomalies at the moment).

Take care of yourself and each other
The days, weeks, months and years ahead will be hard. The whole point of community is to support one another through the hardest times. For immigrants (undocumented and otherwise), Muslim folks, queer/trans/GNC folks, Black folks, Latino folks, and all those in solidarity with us will likely going to get caught in the crosshairs of this shitshow. But together we’ll rise. And together, we’ll win.