With Donald Trump winning the 2016 US presidential election, many people in the US have spent the past few days in shock, disbelief and fear. Trump’s racist, sexist rhetoric has had very real consequences, fanning the flames of hatred and white supremacy, and we are now hearing reports of dramatically increased aggression and violence against marginalized populations in the wake of his victory. Even dear friends and loved ones of ours have been targeted and harassed, and are now living in a heightened state of fear. As a result, so many of us right now feel deeply frightened, paralyzed, and helpless, unsure of what we can do to resist the ideologies that Trump represents and how we can help those individuals and groups who have been particularly endangered by this turn of events.
We believe this work is now more important than ever.
At Feminist Frequency our work is based on a model of long-term cultural change; by encouraging a critical relationship with the often-harmful values embedded in much of our mainstream media and the images that encourage and propagate oppression in our society, we strive to cultivate a more equitable and inclusive culture. We believe this work is now more important than ever.
We’ve been talking internally about how we will shift as an organization to reflect the challenges we face as we look ahead to the next four years. We have no immediate answers or solutions, but as we navigate what comes next for us and look to build coalitions with other organizations and nonprofits to create a strong resistance, we want to share with you some concrete actions you can take in your day-to-day life to help those who are particularly at risk, as well as some organizations that we believe are already on the front lines doing very important work. We encourage you to get involved with these organizations, be it through financial contributions, volunteer work, or in other ways that make sense for you.
- Be an active bystander. If you witness racist, sexist, transphobic, or generally hate-based harassment and attacks, you can be an active bystander. Take a look at some of these resources for recommended practices on how to protect targeted individuals and deescalate dangerous situations: A Bystander’s Guide to Standing up Against Islamophobic Harassment (and Other Types of Harassment, Too) and this video on 5 Ways to Disrupt Racism and Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry by SPLC.
- Local and National Organizing and Protests: We have already seen massive protests in many cities, and there will continue to be organized, coordinated protest movements that emerge over the next four years. Get involved and participate in your local organizations. If you are new to protest movements, be sure to respect those who have been doing this work for many years under various administrations and offer support when you can. Start by just listening.
- Protect your online safety: Anita, along with colleagues Jaclyn Friedman and Renee Bracey Sherman, created Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment, to help folks lock down their online privacy. We feel this is more important than ever and will be working to update the guide with new suggestions, resources, and translations. Encourage your friends and family to protect their online safety as well. We are only as strong as our weakest link. https://onlinesafety.feministfrequency2020-production.mystagingwebsite.com/en/
- Show support. Following recent increases in anti-Muslim aggression in Australia and in the UK, people began wearing safety pins as a signal to those at risk that they were supportive allies. This is a crucial message to send when people who may be targeted for their race, religion, or gender identity, don’t know whom they can trust, and may understandably view strangers with suspicion and fear. Wearing a safety pin can serve a silent signal to members of marginalized groups that you stand in support and solidarity with them. You can also wear “Black Lives Matter” pins to be explicitly clear in your support. Read more about it in “The Incredible Reason You Might Start Seeing Safety Pins Everywhere” and “A small way to show solidarity after Donald Trump’s presidential win, inspired by Brexit”Let us be clear: ally-ship is not an accessory. We’re hearing concern from communities of colour that simply wearing a safety pin is a hollow gesture for allies who otherwise are not actively participating in movement-building and resistance. Showing clear, visible support is important, but so is taking concrete action. Ask yourself what wearing the safety pin means –and if you will sincerely stand up for targeted individuals. Vulnerable communities do not need any more silent, ineffectual “allies.”