Beyond the Safety Pin: The Work Begins Now

November 14, 2016

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My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. — Flavia Dzodan

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.

TAKE ACTION

  • 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.
  • 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 Everywhereand “A small way to show solidarity after Donald Trump’s presidential win, inspired by BrexitLet 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.”  

ORGANIZATIONS

The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. https://www.splcenter.org/ Democracy Now provides viewers with access to people and perspectives that are rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, and grassroots leaders, peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. The ACLU works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of that individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.  Movimiento Cosecha are fighting for permanent protection, dignity and respect for our undocumented immigrant community. Check out their #SanctuaryEverywhere campaign that aims to establish public spaces of resistance and protection for the migrant community.  The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and by organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.  The Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.  The Movement for Black Lives In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda. Campaign Zero We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people; by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability. Emily’s List is committed to driving progressive change throughout our country by winning elections that put pro-choice Democratic women into office.  Council on American Islamic Relations’ mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.  Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. 
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