Your Weekly Dose of Sanity-Saving Good News! – “We are braver than we thought we were” Edition

This is a massive awakening. We’ve already seen an awakening taking place in the last few years. It will intensify. We’ve seen marvelous demonstrations in a variety of different cities… I think that we have to have a real sense of commitment to being a hope in such a bleak moment. And we can turn things around.” (Dr. Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard University)

Good News in Civil Rights – Updates on Charlottesville and more.

If you missed our last “Weekly Dose of Sanity-Saving Good News – “Look for the Helpers” Edition on Charlottesville, click here. It includes maps of where the vigils  for Solidarity-with-Charlottesville took place, as well as some local pics of our own event. There were nearly 700 events across this country. Amazing!

The best of America is still alive and kicking.

Here’s some more pics from the marches around the country.

denver

Seatle

Tucson

tampa

Not only are we alive and kicking, but our sense of humor remains intact.

my dearest clara

We protested in front of Trump’s official residences in D.C. and NY.

Trump WH

trump ny

And organizations joined the Solidarity-with-Charlottesville movement by cancelling events at his  “Summer Whitehouse” – Mar-a-Lago. (From the pad of David Fahrenthold  @Fahrenhold)

DHh7Y-tUMAAA_h2.jpg-large

Charlottesville is just the beginning…

Our press calls out WH for not condemning racist attack. #FreePress

One of the white nationalist organizers tried to hold a press conference in Charlottesville, but people drowned him out and chased him away in less than five minutes. Meanwhile, upcoming alt-right and white supremacy rallies are being canceled by cities and even the organizers themselves.

Because of issue of how being armed negatively impacts the whole “free speech” equation, the ACLU has reversed its policy and will no longer defend armed hate groups.

Thousands joined together on UVA’s campus for a beautiful and peaceful candlelight vigil.

UVA

Good News and good riddance for Confederate Statues!

If you haven’t watched the video linked in the top quote, take some time and do it now by clicking here.  The history of the statues is really interesting.

In Durham, NC, after protesters tore down a Confederate statue, hundreds joined in solidarity to turn themselves in. To learn more about how you can help Takiyah Thompson, the 22-year-old student who’s facing charges, check this out.

Durhan

The number of confederate monuments being removed around the country is growing fast! You can see a fully updated list here.

Florida: “Old Joe” comes down in Gainesville.
New York:  A plaque does NOT grow in Brooklyn.
Maryland: Baltimore begins taking down statues.
Massachusetts: A confederate monument is now boxed in.
California: Yeah, we had some removals to make too.
Kentucky: Lexington’s City Council wants that stuff gone.

Not quite there but on their way.
Virginia: Virginia’s governor want their statues gone too.
North Carolina: Governor Roy Cooper speaks out.

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia is way ahead of us by creating a statue to honor an African American hero – Octavius Catto.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) walks through Statuary Hall inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Some members of Congress are calling for the removal of a bronze statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis that stands in Statuary Hall. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Other Good News in Civil Rights!

We don’t believe corporations are “people” for a minute, but the CEO’s of these companies have realized that their companies are formed of diverse people and they need to respond. Members Trump’s advisory council began resigning, while remaining members planned to disband the group entirely until he disbanded them himself. Plus, tons of companies—including AppleDiscover, Visa, and MasterCardSpotifyPayPalCloudflareAirbnbGoDaddyGoogleWordPressSquarespaceOKCupid, and Facebook—are prohibiting hate groups from using and profiting from their services. Thanks are due to these great organizations for their work in holding corporations accountable:  Color of ChangeSleeping Giants, and the #BackersofHate campaign .

This is kind of genius. Stop any unnecessary interactions with police, stop tragedies. The New Orleans DSA chapter is hosting events to fix broken brake lights—one of the most common reasons police pull people over—and raising money to make it an ongoing project.

Close up of broken red tail light lens and damage to side fender from crash

Texas has been busy. A judge dismissed a lawsuit that defended a ban on sanctuary cities, a bathroom bill died, and a Federal court ruled (for the fourth time!) that the state’s voter maps illegally discriminate against Hispanic and black voters and must be redrawn.

Illinois Senate approves a resolution requiring police to regard neo-Nazis as terrorists.

Good News for Immigrants!

On the fifth anniversary of DACA, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, a group of educators and allies occupied the Texas attorney general’s office and people rallied all across the country in support of DREAMers.

After an immigrant died in a New Jersey detention center, First Friends and other groups protested and spoke out about the center’s history of medical neglect—and led to the creation of a medical review panel and monthly meetings with advocacy groups.

Good News for Schools!

Communities lined up and cheered immigrant children on their first day of school, thanks to a great idea from the group Latino Memphis.

Save Our Schools collected 110,000 signatures to add a referendum to the 2018 Arizona state ballot to stop the expansion of school vouchers. This group of parents and teachers had no previous political experience, but they rallied community support, protested, met with politicians, testified before the state legislature, and made this happen.

After two months of advocacy, Indivisible Conejo’s First Amendment team and other defenders of free expression prevailed in their fight to prevent the banning of Sherman Alexie’s young-adult novel “The Absolutely True Adventures of a Part-Time Indian” for use in 9th-grade classrooms by the Conejo Valley Unified School District’s board of trustees.

693208

After a New York politician made intensely racist comments, members of Open BuffaloSURJ Buffalo, and other groups repeatedly disrupted school board meetings and picketed his home and office—and led to his removal from the school board.

After North Carolina community members—including a local NAACP chapter, women’s groups, students, and teachers—spoke out for months, their county school board banned Confederate flags, swastikas, and KKK insignia from schools.

Women are making the difference!

Women are leading the resistance in the Red lands…

Heather Heyer’s mother speaks out, urging mourners at her daughter’s funeral to “make my child’s death worthwhile” by confronting injustice the way she did.

Good News for the Russia investigation!

Duetsche Bank is giving up information on Trump! This segment from Rachel Maddow seems like it came out sooo long ago ,so we’re repeating it here, because this is really good news!

Good News! The kids are alright!

A bunch of kids come out and absolutely owned legislators at town halls all over the country. And it was awesome.

This is a repeat from one of our earlier columns, but let’s do it again. A nine year old boy has launched a non-profit to fight Trump’s monument reviews. So what were we doing when we were 9?…

Good News in Turning Bad into Good:

Several years ago, a small German town managed to turn the tables on the Neo-Nazi’s that marched through their town for the last 25 years.

Others are following in their example.

Resistance groups are working to turn the tables on this weekend’s white supremacist rally in Boston by donating to the nationally acclaimed Life After Hate, a non-profit that helps defeat white supremacy through education, research and outreach – and a group that’s lost federal grants under the Trump administration.   They’re organizing folks to donate money for every hour white supremacists rage in Boston. People can make pledges here or here.

Trump has a rally scheduled in Phoenix. The mayor has asked Trump, in light of the volatility caused by Charlottesville, that he delay his visit.  Mayor Greg Stanton said, “If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation.”  However, if the rally does take  place, there’s no law that prevents anyone from registering for the tickets, and then having someplace better to be.

Things to learn:

Nice White Ladies is dedicated to bringing white folks up to speed on the racial justice conversation. White people don’t often speak about race, and for many of them even saying the word “white” feels racist. White folks are behind the curve and in many cases don’t even have the language to understand the conversation around racial justice.

Nice White Ladies aims to cure Nice White Lady Syndrome. Many of our members are new to social justice and activism since the 2016 US election, and have walked into a climate of social engagement that they were not prepared for. We offer a space to ask newbie white questions, work out white guilt, and learn how to put our “Nice Lady” impulses to work so that we are supporting the larger movement, rather than getting in the way.

Things to do:

In case his constituents missed it, help clarify this issue.

paul ryan

Donate here.

Support victims of hate crimes.

Let’s not forget this…
On the morning of August 5th, AlFarooz Youth Family Center was the target of act of domestic terrorism.  Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota spoke at the press conference as well, condemning the act of violence.

“Hate is not okay,” said Zaman. “We need a better America, we need an America where people are safe with their neighbors. Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion is absolutely and completely un-American.”

Write them a message on their facebook page or send them a postcard. AlFarooqYouthFamilyCenter
8201 Park Ave S
Bloomington, Minnesota, MN 55420

Here’s a great list of ways to help Charlottesville.

 

From Monday’s column, here are five actions to take regarding the neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, Virginia,this weekend. (from Lauren O’Neal)

a. Donate to one or more of the following:

This kind of support is just as important
b. Be ready to protest any upcoming neo-Nazi/white-supremacist/alt-right rallies in your area.
 If you, like me, live in the Bay Area, there is one coming up in San Francisco on 8/26 and in Berkeley on 8/27 as part of an alt-right “Liberty Weekend.” We’ll be sending out more details on this when we know more.

c. Donate to and/or volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Flippable.
The registration deadline for Virginia state elections is coming up in October (as in, just a couple months from now). Registering more voters is not just a way to flip seats blue and elect better politicians who can achieve concrete progressive goals. It also directly combats the Republican strategy of disenfranchising voters, especially voters of color. Republicans spend so much time, money, and effort suppressing the vote because they know voting is a powerful tool. Let’s make sure the people of Virginia actually have the right to use that tool, the way they’re supposed to in a democracy.

d. Do not let yourself go into denial about what is happening.
It’s very easy right now to look at groups of white supremacists marching with Nazi flags, giving Nazi salutes, and chanting Nazi slogans, and just mentally check out because it’s too much to deal with and it doesn’t directly affect you. It’s very easy to see Trump, who has viciously insulted virtually every other group and individual imaginable, refuse to outright condemn neo-Nazi violence, and think, “There’s no way the president of the United States could really be pro-Nazi, is there?” Please don’t, especially if you’re white. When you go into denial and say things like, “Oh, they don’t really mean it, they’re just trying to shock people” or “These people are on the fringes, they can’t do that much damage,” you’re doing exactly what the white supremacists want. (In fact, here’s a screenshot of them explicitly saying so.)

e. Be very clear, in your social circles and on social media, that you consider being a white supremacist shameful, unacceptable, and inexcusable.
Say loud and proud that you’re against white supremacy, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and the alt-right. Say that it’s shameful Trump won’t condemn them. Memorialize and honor Heather Heyer, who gave her life protesting them. Per the aforementioned screenshot, neo-Nazis deliberately try to keep their real goals secret in order not to scare normal people away. They’re afraid of social opinion turning against them. So turn social opinion against them.

Readings:

White Feelings: 0-60 for Charlottesville (erynnbrook.com)

“Racism is the elephant in the room in America—particularly, white America. White people would like racism to go away. “  This is especially true if you know it is in your own family. ” (medium)

Knowing what to do when you find yourself in a hateful situation is essential.  Here is a Primer on Responding to Hate in Your Own Backyard (500pens.org)

Teaching how to detect and discern the quality of sources is something that is taught in high schools and colleges.  This teacher uses George Washington to teach his juniors and seniors. (pbs.org)

Who are the Antifa? (wapo)
“For our White Friends Desiring to be Allies” (sojo.net)
“Hate on my Way to a Peace Rally” (idebeerwardell.wordpress.com)
A farmer’s post about racism is going viral (attn.com)
Brene Brown,  an American author, scholar, and  social work research professor on how owning our history and our story relates to racism in our country (Facebook)

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