DRAFT!! I’m continuing to add to this post as the days go on…
As a way for me to channel my rage against the election into something a bit more useful, I’m starting this as a draft of how I’ll survive. If you choose to read this, or follow some of these steps, great. I welcome company on this journey.
Also – I intend to not only survive, but THRIVE – and as part of this thriving I’ll be active in my resistance and my building work. How?
- Step out of the echo chamber
- Engage with community
- Organize “the” white people around you
- Avoid purity, seek common ground
- Step outside of the comfort zone, and be willing to take risks.
IF you like polished writers, this one has a nice set of their own tips.
- Echo Chamber
Turn off your social media. Turn on long form content. Turn on conversations in real life. Put the fucking phone DOWN.
Start to develop, or sign up to, visions. Find visionaries, and embrace visions of alternate futures. Our future, as we are currently tracking, will kill us all.
There are plenty of smart people writing at places like the NYTimes, Guardian, WashingtonPost, Atlantic, Slate, Vox, etc. However… they (and likely you if you’re reading this) are part of a coastal elite. And, as such, are probably writing from within the echo chamber.
More on the echo chamber here.
For those moments when you have to “social media” spend your time reading stuff like the stuff that Shaun King posts or articles (like this).
Why should you turn off the Echo Chamber?
What is the Echo Chamber?
Facebook is for sure the echo chamber. The whole game there on FB is to keep you engaged for long period of time so they can sell you ads. Advertisers like to find “user segments” and like to buy ads against clearly defined groups of users. So – if Facebook can figure out who is like you (ie – who spends money like you, who thinks like you, etc etc) then they can more easily package you up and sell your eyeball attention off to advertisers. Serving you stories and things from friends who believe / act / think / buy like you definitely serves Facebook’s need$, but doesn’t serve the needs of democracy.
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, all that. That’s all the echo chamber. Same as Facebook pretty much, but they just haven’t been able to monetize their users in the same way as Facebook (other than Instagram, which is owned by Facebook).
2. Community Engagement
3. Organize the White People
Why? See the chart below of who voted for whom in the 2016 Presidential Election.
And it’s “the white people” to reference the othering that Trump engaged in when talking about various communities of color.
4. Avoid Purity, Seek Common Ground
5. Take Risks
If we fail in this century, it is because we are too timid.
If we lose our way in America, it is because we are too complacent.
– from The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
Some risks are easy to take – like calling our elected officials to let them know how we feel – that we support them standing up the OrangeBully (for example). This specific risk is basically just the risk of “wasting” a few minutes. It’s also really effective.
Another risk? Uproot yourself and move. Not to Canada or Europe. But to a Swing State. Michigan. North Carolina. Ohio. Pennsylvania. Arizona. Wisconsin. Move there and organize your new neighbors.
And another risk? Direct Action. Whatever form that takes. When I think of my grandfather, who took a MAJOR risk which landed him in forced labor camps for almost 4 years of his life… I feel pretty damn complacent. He took a stand against war, against imperialism, and for peace. If he did that, I can certainly stand up in some bigger ways than phone calls and letters.
Above, I advocate turning off the echochamber. And. There have been some interesting thought provoking things flying across the intertubes.
Some of these:
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich