Take Responsibility for Actively Resisting / by Karie Luidens

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“…take responsibility for actively resisting them.”

The last words of my last post.

It is facile and meaningless to express shock—shock!—when faced with news that the president has barred immigrants from certain regions and condoned inhumane enforcement practices at the border. It is factually incorrect and self-deluding to bemoan that this isn’t the America we know and love. We can’t just pin the latest atrocities on the politicians who are currently in power. We need to be honest about our nation’s long history of xenophobia, racism, and state-sponsored violence, baked into all our systems from the start.

Only then can we recognize our roles in those systems, and take responsibility for actively resisting them.

Okay. So what does that mean?

I don’t really know, and it’s giving me a headache this morning. Time to spitball…

Educating yourself on the history of the place where you live and its political systems.

Following current events, including what your political leaders and law enforcement agencies are up to day by day.

Articulating your values to yourself so you know where you stand on the activities of those in power.

Expressing your values to others so they know where you stand on the activities of those in power.

Discussing history, current events, and values with those in your life, respectfully and constructively, so that you can educate each other and keep each other in check.

Listening to others’ voices. Making time and space to hear those who may otherwise be drowned out or excluded from conversations. Helping them reach more ears by sharing their messages with others.

Pointing out falsehoods, oversimplifications, and dehumanizing attitudes whenever and wherever you encounter them. Inviting those who propagate them to reconsider and do better.

Writing letters to the editor and otherwise publishing your analyses so a wider audience can discuss them.

Contacting your local, state, and national representatives to let them know what you care about and what you expect of them as they legislate. It’s their job to represent you. Let them know how you want to be represented, issue by issue, on a regular basis.

Volunteering, as you’re able, with organizations whose missions align with your values.

Donating, as you’re able, to nonprofits and political campaigns.

Protesting politicians and policies that go against your values. Marching, rallying, carrying signs, raising your voice.

Taking care of yourself, too—your bodily health, your mental health. Resting.

Writing lists to reassure yourself that you’re not as powerless as you feel some days.

Take an Ibuprofen for that headache and drink a glass of water.