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Oluo writes: "No matter how much we'd like to hide in our homes for the next four years, we know that we cannot do that. We must fight for equality and justice. But the question is: how? What action can we take in the aftermath of such a heartbreaking defeat?"

'We enter 2017 in full knowledge that this year will likely be no better than the last one.' (photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
'We enter 2017 in full knowledge that this year will likely be no better than the last one.' (photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)


Here Are Seven Ways You Can Keep Fighting for Justice in 2017

By Ijeoma Oluo, Guardian UK

01 January 17

 

It’s reasonable to just want to hibernate for the next four years. But that won’t help make things better

e just ended the worst year. Now starts, well: the worst worst year. Those of us appalled and terrified by the election of Donald Trump and the open rise of white supremacy in America ended 2016 exhausted and disillusioned. Now we enter 2017 in full knowledge that this year will probably be no better.

No matter how much we’d like to hide in our homes for the next four years, we know that we cannot do that. We must fight for equality and justice. But the question is: how? What action can we take in the aftermath of such a heartbreaking defeat?

As we start this new year, here are some resolutions for resistance.

Check your sources

Yes, we are really living in a dystopian future where we can’t be sure of what is true and what isn’t. A sensational story cross your eye? Yes, it may well be accurate. But it could also be made up by a teenager in a basement in Milwaukee, because we apparently live in a horrible world these days.

Check the links on all articles to verify that those links actually back up what the original article is saying with source material. No links? Try to find a more reliable source to back up the story. No luck? Then do not share that story. Write down the name of that publication and avoid them in the future.

Check the “about us” page of unfamiliar sites: is there actual staff? A lot of fake news sites will try to avoid criticism by calling themselves “satire” (note: the Onion is satire; fake news sites are really trying to trick you). Other red flags: website names that are close but not quite the same as established and reputable news sites, lack of dates on articles, lack of author name on articles, anonymous sources that can’t be verified (ex: “a friend said”, “someone at the scene said”, “our sources say”).

Diversify your news

The internet gives us a plethora of potential news sources. But we can still find ourselves consuming a dozen versions of the exact same viewpoint and convincing ourselves that we are well-informed.

When I was an undergrad political science student, I had an international relations professor who not only required that we read three separate and very different papers each day, but that we read the local, national, international and economic sections of each.

Then she would discuss a topic that had appeared in the papers and would test our ability to separate facts from the multiple interpretations given across the papers. This exercise taught me how widely the truth can be shaped and stretched, and how there can indeed be multiple truths for very important issues, depending on viewpoint.

It’s a lesson I try not to forget. Try to diversify not only the subject matter you read, but the ideology of the publishers and the identities of the writers.

Put your money where your mouth is

Make this the year that your money does the talking. Upset about the housing crisis in your area? Donate to a shelter. Believe in abortion rights? Donate to Planned Parenthood. Believe in small business? Shop local. Believe in equal opportunity? Support minority-owned businesses.

And don’t put your money into the businesses and banks that profit off the oppression of others or the destruction of the environment.

Pay attention to local politics

Guess what? There will be an election in 2017, and in 2018, and, well – you get the point. Local elections are where your vote counts the most and local votes are some of the most important votes you can make.

What happens in your town can affect what happens in your county, then your state, your region and, ultimately, in the nation. School levies, minimum wages, city council elections – these votes have a real and almost immediate impact on your life and the lives of your community. Don’t give that power away. Stay informed about what is happening locally. And vote.

Decentralize whiteness

Just about every aspect of western culture centralizes whiteness. Our history, infrastructure, medical system, justice system, education system, entertainment industry – and yes, our social justice organizations – all do this. Whiteness is default, it’s ubiquitous and it’s insidious.

We don’t have to purposefully center whiteness. When we neglect to decentralize it, it will be automatically centered. So work to decentralize whiteness: in your children’s school lessons, in your PTA meetings, in your office meetings, in your city council meetings, in the film and TV you watch, in the music you listen to, in the leaders you support. If you do not decentralize whiteness in your movements for progress, you will leave people of color behind. And what kind of progress is that?

Understand your privilege

Just about all of us have some privilege, and it is very important for us to be aware and to be willing to name that privilege.

Your privilege is where you have the most power. Your privilege is the little piece of an oppressive system that you own and can therefore change. For example, I am not disabled – this is a major area of privilege for me. I’m very glad that I know this, because, when I am asked to speak on diversity panels, I can ask if there will also be disabled speakers, ramps and sign language interpreters.

My privilege means that I’m asked to speak at more panels than disabled people are. My voice is in the room while disabled voices are not: being aware of that keeps me aware of my power to help change that. If I refused to recognize that privilege (and there was a time where I would have let guilt or just fear of confrontation keep me from doing so) I would simply remain a part of an oppressive system, even while claiming to work for liberation.

Remember what you’re fighting for

It is very easy to become hyper-focused on what we’re fighting against – neo-Nazis, Islamophobia, racism, sexism. But nothing is a better and more important motivator than what we are fighting for. We are fighting for our communities, for our families, for our future.

What keeps you in the battle? Keep that close to your heart and let it be the light that guides your way.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+6 # Radscal 2017-01-01 17:40
The concept that we all need to "diversify" our sources of information/new s is crucial.

And this should include reading/watchin g sources that have a known bias to which we are opposed. It's important to know what others are being told, but also, one finds true information on "opposing" sources that are withheld from "friendly" ones.

But most importantly is to go to truly independent sources.

And I can't help but note that this article is from The Guardian, which just published an edited, manipulated interview with Julian Assange which left the reader believing the exact opposite of what he actually said.

"Fake News" is a huge problem. But it is sources like the WaPo which are warning the public away from independent sources which are the biggest purveyors of truly Fake News.
 
 
0 # ReconFire 2017-01-01 19:03
As I'm sure you know Radscal, WoPo has been in the CIA's pocket since the 1960's.
 
 
0 # Radscal 2017-01-01 21:10
Quite. And when Bezos bought it, Amazon got a huge contract from CIA.
 
 
0 # economagic 2017-01-02 09:35
"And this should include reading/watchin g sources that have a known bias to which we are opposed."

And ESPECIALLY those with a known bias with which we agree.
 
 
+8 # Depressionborn 2017-01-01 20:10
re: What keeps you in the battle? Keep that close to your heart and let it be the light that guides your way.

I want to see the world live and let live, and people mind their own bussiness please.
 
 
0 # DongiC 2017-01-01 20:24
Amen, brother, amen!
 
 
-9 # babaregi 2017-01-02 01:16
You folks have some valid points but you need to rein in some of your crazy people and their fanatical thinking.

Check it out (I hope you can understand but I'm not counting on it):

SJW/feminism gone wild. LOL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKz_Gwtzh7Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4VGseqM0AU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa3g9vr1aiQ&list=RDXa3g9vr1aiQ#t=74


When will you guys learn?

Keep it up, sane people are losing patience with your ideology. It only helps the right-wingers grab more support.
 
 
+6 # Radscal 2017-01-02 02:22
Many of us are no longer falling for fighting the "culture wars."

The arc of history bends towards justice, and those battles are being won one family at a time.
 
 
-4 # babaregi 2017-01-02 10:58
Quoting Radscal:
Many of us are no longer falling for fighting the "culture wars."

The arc of history bends towards justice, and those battles are being won one family at a time.


OK, if you say so, but the more vocal and louder of you are establishing the public perception of your 'SJW movement'.

There are thousands of subscribers to RSN but judging from the comments section, I don't see much to balance out the caricature that I am talking about.

Those few that are serious about the outcome of all of this activism had better pay attention to how the fanatics are defining you and your work.
 
 
+5 # Radscal 2017-01-02 14:54
Tell you what. I won't stereotype and judge you based on meth-addicted neo-nazis and you won't stereotype and judge me as a femi-nazi calling for "white genocide."

Because surely you know the enemy of the people is not the people. Anytime we are told to blame powerless people for our problems, we are being played.
 
 
-2 # babaregi 2017-01-02 17:08
Well, that's good that you're not equating me with a Nazi (although that has happened more than once on this board) because it's not a valid argument that deals with logic and facts.

I am well-aware of the elites pulling strings to control others and maintain a parasitic relationship of exploitation. That meme has achieved mainstream legitimacy since the Occupy Wall Street protests. No one can argue otherwise and expect to be taken seriously these days.

On the other hand, SJWs and feminists are far from powerless and are very adept at gaming and 'playing' others to suit their own agenda. As a working class American white man (not in the 1% elite ruling class), I marvel at the difficulty I encounter when I attempt to have an honest discussion about race and gender with SJWs and feminists ( or anyone else, including New Age Men's groups that I've participated in). We live in a political milieu where it is an effective tactic for groups (except for white males) to engage in claims of victimhood to get special privileges and free passes awarded while being socially irresponsible themselves (and are annoyed when confronted about that).

In conclusion, in dealing with those that choose 'The Blue Pill' (perhaps not yourself but the greater percentage of SJWs that adore and defend their identification with the 'tribe' with religious fervor) see what Stefan says:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yViIz06M82A
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2017-01-02 21:47
"I am well-aware of the elites pulling strings to control others and maintain a parasitic relationship of exploitation."

Cool. And there are very, very few of them, and lots and lots of us.

And one of the strings they pull is creating this "culture war" meant to divide and rule over us. A key to all such propaganda campaigns is exactly the same as humor. There must be some kernel of truth that can be stirred in people.

And there must also be a kernel of truth in the converse, especially once members of the first target demographic have had their emotions stirred.

So, why play into their game if you understand it? Why insist on "honest discussions" with people when you know going in that they've been swayed to one extreme, and you have become fed up with it?

We can win real liberty for all if we stop bickering amongst ourselves and focus on our shared enemies.
 
 
0 # babaregi 2017-01-02 23:39
Bickering doesn't accomplish much except to provide entertainment value for the sake of fighting (which can be loads of fun). That's part of the reason I come here to lay down the gauntlet and see who wants to play.

On the other hand, your question is a good one. Why try to have an honest discussion with you guys when I know most of you will reactively reject any criticism of your world view? This is how cults think.

I assume that there are a few people that read these posts that are rigorous, who will challenge themselves by listening to well-thought-ou t criticisms of the prevailing group-think. I am as honest as I can be instead of pretending that I am OK with the excesses of the radical left. I think that you guys are already conditioned by cultural marxist propaganda (and also the efforts of the elites to destabilize the family through feminism). I have provided links that show evidence of this before on RSN and it is ignored.

You want me to focus on 'common enemies' when I feel threatened by aspects of your ideology as well. When you guys dismiss criticism and shame others (with accusations of racism, sexism, xenophobia, etc) when there are valid issues to deal with, I see you as just another zealot that is willing to force others (through various means) into a 'program for their own good'.

'Not much difference between friend and foe when reason is overruled by the 'well-meaning' mob and people become afraid to speak their minds and risk ostracism.
 
 
0 # babaregi 2017-01-03 00:26
cont.

But folks don't have to be opened-minded and reasonable. Many don't have the cultural background to even think in these terms.

Not all cultures are the same and it would be wise to learn from those that have developed tools that work to insure a peaceful co-existence.

Multiculturalis m doesn't work very well despite it being a favorite project of the SJWs and the elites that want to push it at a breakneck speed. Its success depends on many factors that are important to deal with or the result is chaos. SJWs refuse to accept this because your highest value is 'inclusiveness' and 'compassion' so everyone must have equal results, not just equal opportunity.

If someone is poor because they made bad life choices (such as having kids they can't afford) then, no problem, just take money from more responsible people and give it to them so they can have even more kids.

There is no longer a cultural expectation to be sexually responsible in some communities because of the incentives to act otherwise.

SJWs prefer a nanny State to step in and bail such folks out. The list goes on and on but RSN folk solely want to talk about 'The Man' stepping on everyone's throat. How many articles on RSN have addressed blind spots in SJW thinking? Not many, and it's not because there aren't any. Few are willing to confront 'inconvenient' information.

Conservatives and liberals are exactly the same in this respect yet both claim superiority, morally and intellectually.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-01-03 10:18
Quoting babaregi:
Conservatives and liberals are exactly the same in this respect yet both claim superiority, morally and intellectually.
Because we are human, and that is human nature.

Hi, babaregi. Happy new year to you. I think we are in agreement about SJWs. These are the neoliberals who have taken over the DNC and DP. As Radscal mentioned, they are the loud minority that gives the rest of us a bad name, just as the neonazis are the vocal minority that make conservatives look bad.

I believe the neoliberals are far outnumbered by regular, reasonable people -- but they have taken over our party. They need to go -- but they're dug in like ticks and denying they do anything wrong.

re the nanny state: It is easy to condemn government assistance to fictitious people. Perhaps if you knew some of the recipients your kinder heart would emerge :-)

The government has responsibilitie s, one being to keep citizens safe and in possession of the minimum requirements for survival. I believe we are manipulated to believe that helping the poor is unjust -- another way to divide US. Yet our country has astonishing wealth and resources. It is not that we can't afford to take care of people. It's that the top 1% have decided to abscond with all our resources.

We should focus our anger on the powerful, the oligarchs.

PS Do you believe that the wealthy rise due to their particular worth and virtue? You know that's a myth, right?
 
 
0 # babaregi 2017-01-03 21:32
Librarian,


"PS Do you believe that the wealthy rise due to their particular worth and virtue? You know that's a myth, right?"

Uh, not really that simple.
Most of my customers are very wealthy and I observe that they produce goods and services which they market in voluntary exchanges that grant them riches.

Many of them are mentally gifted, work really hard, make sacrifices and focus on their goals.

Then there are people that game the system.

Mixed bag.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-04 09:11
"Mixed bag"

That's what ANY group is -- a mixed bag. I don't think we can attribute morality to financial status. There ARE some feckless poor, but most are decent people. And no policy should hurt children. Do you think it's right that 20% of American kids don't have a consistent and reliable source of food?

What about the working poor -- people who work at leadt 40 hours a week but earn below the poverty line, which is ridiculous in itself, something like $13,000 a year for a family of four. How can that be right, especially in America?

Many people are out of work because of automation, not because the don't want to work.

Hope you are well, b, and that you had a nice holiday.
 
 
0 # Radscal 2017-01-03 16:55
"I come here to lay down the gauntlet and see who wants to play."

Nuff said really. You have no interest in "honest discussions." You stop by infrequently to drop a flaming bag of shit on our doorstep and ring the doorbell.

"... an honest discussion with you guys..."

And of course, you immediately stereotype me despite my offer to engage with you as individuals.

Grow up. Take personal responsibility.
 
 
-1 # babaregi 2017-01-03 19:40
Quoting Radscal:
"I come here to lay down the gauntlet and see who wants to play."

Nuff said really. You have no interest in "honest discussions." You stop by infrequently to drop a flaming bag of shit on our doorstep and ring the doorbell.

"... an honest discussion with you guys..."

And of course, you immediately stereotype me despite my offer to engage with you as individuals.

Grow up. Take personal responsibility.


If you want an honest discussion you could try to understand what I'm saying and linking to and make a comment based on the material.

Otherwise, I don't take you seriously and I'm happy to trade insults with you although you guys are tough competition since you practice it so frequently.

IMO, you guys (and I presume you personally) think you know what's best for everyone else and are quite annoyed when challenged.

I know you see it differently but when I want to safely argue with pompous, inflated-ego ideologues there's no better place than the RSN comment board. And to correct your statement, I actually come here frequently to pull your chain; somebody's got to do it since you take yourself so seriously.

I hold that your aggressively promoted left-wing attitudes (when given uncritical support) are a serious and insidious threat to the well-being of our democracy because they seem to have infected academia and the young who don't have much discrimination when it comes to the dogmas of entitlement thinking.
 
 
+9 # sharag 2017-01-02 02:49
There can be no hiding. If we are to regain economic and social equality, so much of which we have lost over the past 40 years, people will need to wake up, stop being foolish consumers, build solidarity and organize in their communities, states, across the nation for real democracy. The democracy that has been intentionally stolen from us by the corporate, financial few who see themselves as the owners and masters of our country and all of us. They will not give it up without a bloody fight. History, our own history has shown us that.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2017-01-02 12:38
re: sharag 2017-01-02 02:49

what, exactly, is preventing you sharag; and what do you want. I can not understand the problem.
/
 
 
+10 # elizabethblock 2017-01-02 09:58
Regarding privilege: Use it. Be an ally.

For instance, I'm Jewish, and I am privileged in a way that Christians aren't: I can criticize Israel without being afraid I'm anti-Semitic. And when I do it, it validates the Christians' criticisms. A pity, but there it is.

Yes, we need Palestinian voices. But when Palestinians criticize Israel, it's dog-bites-man. When a Jew does, it's man-bites-dog.

Ditto, I think, with white allies of Black Lives Matter, and settler allies of native pipeline protesters.
 

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