It’s been a terrible week. Many of us are feeling depleted and wondering how we can keep up this fight when it seems we are sure to lose. Last week the news was dominated by the gut-wrenching sights and sounds of children crying for their parents. We’ve watched the NCGA put crazy constitutional amendments on the ballot. SCOTUS lifted the injunction on Trump’s Travel Ban, and then the news came that Justice Kennedy, the key swing vote on issues such as reproductive freedom and marriage equality, will retire. Yesterday, a mass shooting took the lives of five members of the press, Trump’s “enemy of the state.”
It’s easy to want to lay down our protest signs, take Senators Burr and Tillis off speed dial, or consider joining a local anarchist group. No one can be blamed for feeling this hopeless frustration. But we urge you to feel the feels and keep going anyway.
Many of us have the privilege to quit. How truly different will our lives be if we accept defeat and return to inaction? If we are white and have even a little money in our savings, chances are we are going to be okay. That’s not true for our more vulnerable brothers and sisters who don’t have a choice but to keep fighting for justice. It’s not the case for the environment- if we don’t keep fighting for clean air and water, what will be left for our children and grandchildren? People of all classes, gender identity, sexual orientation, and skin tones must ban together and keep fighting. Remember they want us exhausted. They want us to give up. Reach deep into your rebel heart and keep fighting for equality for all.
What can we do to feel better right now?
- Go see Won’t You Be My Neighbor. Mr. Rogers knew just what to say when we were kids. His words and kind demeanor are the salve we all need right now.
- Plan to be patriotic on Independence day. Next Wednesday will be a good day to reflect on the principles of freedom on which our nation was founded. We are today’s patriots fighting against oppression. Sometimes patriotism takes a knee. We fight for the right of every individual in this country to express themselves.
- Take a Social Media break. When things get to be too much and the news is all bad, disconnect for a day or a weekend.
- Reconnect with friends IRL. There’s nothing better than sharing a glass of wine or a cup of tea with people who love you. Maybe even ask for a hug.
- Read the wise words of Dan Rather.
- Subscribe to Small Victories. Each Friday your inbox will jump for joy when the email full of good news comes in.
- Volunteer. Our toolkits offer organizations where you can pour your passions to help the causes you care most deeply about.
- Go knock on doors for a candidate you support or help register people to vote. Turning this mess around depends entirely on getting out the vote. NC GOTV regularly posts opportunities to connect with groups doing canvassing.
- Join a Families Belong Together march. Find one in your area here. Remember there is strength in numbers and we have them. There is no better time than tomorrow morning to gather with friends and yell.
- Take some time for yourself. Self-care is something we have all had to learn about these past 18 months. Go for a walk or a run. Sit in a quiet room and meditate. Go get a massage. Give yourself a facial at home using stuff you have in your cabinets. Read a good book.
We’ve all been told this is a marathon not a sprint. Rep. John Lewis sent out this message: “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. #goodtrouble.”
I’m fighting for you. I know that you have my back. There has been no greater silver lining than all of you. Together we will weather this storm and November 6, 2018 we will celebrate.