The Boston Globe published a story today about the mammoth pro-refugee/immigrant rally in Copley Square yesterday. I was still nursing a broken toe and didn't go and I'd be kicking myself for missing it but...broken toe. On the other hand I forsee plenty of chances to rally and protest in the near and far future so I'm not heartbroken. There were two quotes from Republicans in the Boston Globe story. Charlie Baker gave Mitch McConnell's response which was to pretend that this was all business as usual and that "the courts" would fix things, somehow. Not a constitutional crisis, not an unconstitutional act, not immoral, just...kind of not great but if we'd all calm down and let the grown ups handle it things would be better. The other was from Trump's MA campaign manager--interesting that they couldn't get one or two of our few Republican State Reps to comment--and he gave the other party line "you were warned, you can't complain now." Actually, what he said was even more interesting, deliberately drawing attention to the fact that President Obama had delivered this mild rebuke to the Republicans after his election he said "Elections have consequences and President Trump promised to do all this during the campaign." (Paraphrasing).
We are going to hear a lot of this in the future. But its not really an answer to the protests. We aren't protesting because we don't realize the election had a consequence that put Trump into power. We are protesting because his actions are illegal, immoral, and we don't like them. This has nothing to do with the legitimacy, or otherwise, of his election. And it has nothing to do with numbers for or against his policies. It has to do with legal, illegal, moral, immoral, justice, and injustice.
And this is a point we need to be making to the remaining Trump voters as well as to the voters and non voters who were essentially on the fence, or ignorant of the choice they were making, or voting out of spite. We need to emphasize (as people already do in their signs) the larger moral and safety issues. I also think we need to start banding together in affinity groups and showing up at rallies as groups--I suppose I'm thinking this because now that I am a Social Worker I finally have a ready made group to affiliate with. But no one will be surprised when Social Workers show up en masse. I am thinking of smaller but bigger groups--PTA, a whole street, churches, new mothers, grandmothers, bowling leagues. I'm also a Weight Watcher and I want to organize a "Weight Watchers Against Deportation" group. I think back to a sign my mother saw forty years ago at a big Anti-Nuke rally in NY "East Village Weight Watchers Against The Bomb!" When every subgroup in society comes out, loud and proud, and its not clearly "interested parties" or the phantom "paid advocates" we will start to see cracks in the complacent ice that is the majority of white people in this country. I hope.
I think I stand with this principle--my lack of support for Trump isn't why I think he's wrong, I think he's wrong which is why I can't support him. It isn't because I'm a liberal, because I'm a feminist, because I queer-identify, or because I like pink-knitted hats--it's because everything he has ever proposed seems to exist in a world where no historical or policy precedent and its outcome has ever been considered. Torture, Muslim registry, tried during Bush Admin, found to be stupid. When I look at the diversity of the Women's Marches and the Airport protests, though, I can't even imagine how anyone like Fox News' Sean Hannity even thinks this could be paid protest. *this* many sisters knit hats, made signs and stood in how much weird intercontinental weather to signify for a paycheck? No: these sisters wanted to be representing. And no one stops by the airport unless they really want to. I feel like there will be protests a plenty and a never-ending supply of happy new-social-justice-warriors coming along, since this administration will never cease to horrify. But this new and young energy--folks who only figured out they needed to struggle when Trump turned up?ReplyDelete
They aren't feeling like sore losers--they feel robbed. And I welcome them playing out their vengeance.
I think congress is the best target. We need to do like the Tea Party and light up Town Halls where the US Reps figure out what they are repping for. We'll get heard.
Arlo Guthrie from Studs Terkel's Hope Dies Last: I remembered the day it ended. We were protesting the building the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire. We had been at a bunch of these things for the last decade - civil rights, ban the bomb, stop the war, clean the water, whatever - and we had always marched down these streets and boulevards singing the usual songs, "We Shall Overcome," "I Ain't Gonna Study War No More" songs. All of a sudden, I saw a placard that somebody was holding. It said: _Lesbians Plumbers from Albany, New York, against nuclear power_. Although it was funny and wonderful in some ways, I also realized that this was the end. Now people were using these events to justify who they were and not simply to end the nuclear threat in the area. And I think I was right.ReplyDelete
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