Saturday, November 12, 2016

State of the scraper address

Wow, OK, so half of the country voted for a filter-lacking narcissist whose campaign centered on blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist insults and threats. So, I've known all my life that these views were this widespread, but this guy and his "plans" are nonetheless much scarier and more threatening than, say the Bushes, who at least seemed to have some basic professionalism and sense of human decency even though the impact of their policies was just as marginalizing.

A lot of us are terrified, not just around the end of our day-to-day relative safety from harassers and attackers, but also because we depend on government-funded programs for healthcare, disability services, children's services, or employment.

So, what can we do now?
  • Here is a list of some concrete things we can do, like stockpiling emergency contraception to distribute if it becomes unavailable next year, along with advice for trying to preserve rights for green card holders and our transgender brothers and sisters.
  • For internationally adopted folks (thinking especially of the many people in the community who have brought relatives here from Haiti through adoption rather than sponsorship), if you don't have a Certificate of Citizenship and only have your entry papers, go here and follow the steps to get one.
  • If you're transgender, make sure your gender and name are current on all your documents. Go here to learn about Boston-area organizations who are helping people do this for free, and similarly to volunteer if you have legal training or experience navigating these systems.
  • Write to your legislators, even if they're progressive, even if you're in Massachusetts where they've been telling us most of the federal changes won't affect us, and tell them why it's important that they support your family in maintaining insurance, disability services, housing assistance, and anything else you receive that's partially federally funded or might be affected by a federal mandate.
  • Go here to learn how to respond if you witness Islamophobic harassment (or any other type).
  • Be sensitive and sensible. It's fine to participate in movements/rallies/safetypinwearing that focus on positivity and understanding. But be aware that others, especially some marginalized folks, feel betrayed by these actions and feel that no one should be attempting to "build bridges" with the oppressors. Others take issue with people voicing their opinions in progressive spaces but being afraid to speak out against those who support bigotry. Still others don't appreciate privileged folks finally speaking out for the first time this week, because it highlights that these folks have been refusing to listen to the voices of the oppressed for years. Ask people how they're doing. Ask what would help. Don't take this as an opportunity to brag about how enlightened you are or how your manner of coping is the best one.
EDIT: You know how I mostly post about how our spartan lifestyle involves a lot of unprocessed food, walking and biking, and simple hobby items acquired at thrift stores? Yeah, it's not doing it for me right now. Someone point me to tips for how to get good deals on strong drinks, crappy TV, violent video games, tubs of cookie dough, and so forth. Thanks.

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