3 Good Things Trump’s America Has Taught Me About the World

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| Feminism > Activism

Trump is trying to pull us all into hell but we can, must and will continue to RESIST. Liz looks at three positives to be found in Trump’s America.

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Women’s march on WDC – Mobilis in Mobili [CC BY 2.0]

I stood in the middle of Capitol boulevard, my face turned up to the sky, watching as huge, fluffy snowflakes fell on pink hats. It was practically a whiteout, and the asphalt under my feet felt like a skating rink. Nevertheless, the weather hadn’t dampened the spirits of over 5,000 people who’d shown up to march through the streets of Boise — the capital city of one of the reddest states in the union.

I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. The opposition referred to us as snowflakes, and here we were marching through the flurries, combining to form a blizzard. I couldn’t help but think of George R.R. Martin’s famous words, “winter is coming.” We were winter, and we were here to show the Trump administration that we would not stand idle while he took our country apart, piece by piece. Our signs became soggy and began to droop, our teeth chattered as the wind picked up, our coats soaked through and left us numb — but damn it, we would not be silent.

As I gazed around at the frozen faces of my comrades, I realized I was seeing the beauty that can emerge in times of unrest — the true face of humanity. Trump’s administration was putting forth directives intended to prompt fear, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, and fanaticism. Even so, they were being broadcast to a nation of people increasingly dedicated to sharing messages of love, inclusiveness, empathy, and respect.

I saw the good that could blossom in the darkness.

People Will Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is

By M. Dixon [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Plenty of people say they support Planned Parenthood — but do they really support Planned Parenthood? Well, in the months since Trump’s “victory” in the election, plenty of people have been putting their money where their mouths are. In the days after the election, Planned Parenthood saw a huge jump in donations — 40 times their normal rate. Those donations largely came from first time donors (70%) and  approximately 82,000 were gifted in Vice President Mike Pence’s name — a jab at his years-long assault on abortion access.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also received an outpouring of support in recent days. In the weeks after the election, the ACLU received more than $15 million in donations — something an official within the organization referred to as “unprecedented in our history.” However, there was more to come. The weekend after Trump instated the travel ban — an executive order barring visitors, refugees, and legal immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia against entering the U.S. — the ACLU took in more than $24 million in online donations from 356,306 people. That’s six time more than they usually receive in a year.

Much like the Planned Parenthood donations, this money was predominantly coming from those who had never donated before. It was proof that when times get tough, Americans are willing to help however they can — and there’s nothing that will hurt this administration more than financially backing those who have the power to stop them in their tracks.

People Will Stand Up For What’s Right

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Trump protest march, Minnesota 2016. Photo by Fibonacci Blue

The new president’s administration seems dead set on curbing the rights of anyone who isn’t a wealthy, white, heterosexual, cisgender, American, Christian male. If you’re missing even one of those descriptors, your freedom is at stake. Thankfully, millions of Americans (and our amazing allies around the world) are shouting from the rooftops, “RESIST!”

From the 4.9 million people that joined the women’s march globally, to the tens of thousands that crowded airports to protest the travel ban, to the brave activists at Standing Rock, to the National Park workers defying Trump on Twitter, to celebrities using their privilege and platform to enact change, to acting Attorney General Sally Yates refusing to defend Trump’s travel ban in court, to the Yemeni business owners in New York City who closed their stores and bodegas in solidarity, to the 97 companies (including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft) who filed a legal brief opposing the travel ban, to Senator Warren attempting to read Coretta Scott King’s letter denouncing Jeff Sessions as nominee for attorney general, to all those planning on taking part in the “Day Without Immigrants”on February 16th, the general strike on February 17th, the Day Without Women on March 8th, the Tax Day march on April 15th, and the Scientist’s March on April 22nd — people everywhere are refusing to remain silent while our rights are being threatened.

People Will Protect Each Other

On February 5th, Gregory Locke found himself witnessing something truly inspiring. He recounts the incident:

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Locke’s story isn’t the only one of its kind. There are entire movements dedicated to protecting those most at risk. For instance, there’s the Safety Pin Project, where people wear a safety pin on their lapel to make visible their stance as allies willing to stand up when they see the vulnerable being attacked. As solidarity trends go, the Safety Pin Project has been questioned in many quarters as a quick and safe option for white people to show solidarity without much activity. With this in mind, it’s important to step outside your bubble and listen to the perspectives of those who are most marginalised and under threat when participating any movement.

As Anne Frank said, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” I truly believe that in the dark days to come, we will see some of the best humanity has to offer.

17 things you can do to resist Trump

If you don’t want to live in a world where your dreams, and that of others, are dictated by someone else’s backward beliefs, where all people have to fear being discriminated against, abused or harassed, then it’s time to act.

There’s no denying it, I’m scared. I wake up every morning and wonder what he’s done now. But I won’t sit in silence as his administration strips people of their rights, alienates our allies, and mocks those who would oppose him.

As Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

I will not be neutral — I will fight this regime.

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