A Month of Faves 2016: Picking Favorites

December 17, 2016

I have been collecting links to think pieces and articles that interest me since the election, and Andi’s post on her word for next year and the changes she’s made finally prompted me to post them all. Some of them are a bit dated, but they all spoke to me in different ways.

A Month of Faves 2016

“It would be ludicrous for me to leave this country just because I might have to march on Washington again (although to be honest I really don’t have the shoes for it this time. But I swear I’ll be there if we have to do it again, my sisters).

And where would Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia and the rest of the Rebel Alliance have been if Han Solo hadn’t come back in the Millennium Falcon to help them battle the Death Star? You can’t just take your reward and fly off to France! You have to stay and fight for what you believe in!” — Meg Cabot

Traumatized by the election results, many Americans are asking: What now? Here are steps that any of us can take that can make a difference at the margins. Onward!

1. I WILL accept that my side lost, but I won’t acquiesce in injustice and I will gird for battle on issues I care about. I will call or write my member of Congress and express my opposition to mass deportation, to cutting 22 million people off health insurance, to nominations of people who are unqualified or bigoted, to reduced access to contraception and cancer screenings. Better yet, I’ll attend my representative’s town meeting and put him or her on the spot.

2. I WILL try to do small things in my own life, recognizing that they are inadequate but at least a start: I will sign up on the Council on American-Islamic Relations website, volunteering to fight Islamophobia. I’ll call a local mosque to offer support, or join an interfaith event. I will sign up for an “accompany my neighbor” list if one exists for my area, to be an escort for anyone who is now in fear. — A 12-Step Program for Responding to the Election, NY Times

#11 on this page is my new mantra.

Well. This changes nothing for me. My ancestors helped build this country, so I’ll be damned if I let a bunch of whining, shortsighted fools either run me out of it or destroy what they spilled blood to achieve. And I’ll be damned if I let Trump or his ilk threaten the lives and opportunities of my friends and neighbors without fighting back by every means at my disposal. — N.K. Jemison

Because let’s be real: we always knew this shit wasn’t going to be easy. Colonial power, patriarchal power, capitalist power must always and everywhere be battled, because they never, ever quit. We have to keep fighting, because otherwise there will be no future—all will be consumed. Those of us whose ancestors were owned and bred like animals know that future all too well, because it is, in part, our past. And we know that by fighting, against all odds, we who had nothing, not even our real names, transformed the universe. — Junot Díaz

So scary are the consequences of a collapse of white privilege that many Americans have flocked to a political platform that supports and translates violence against the defenseless as strength. These people are not so much angry as terrified, with the kind of terror that makes knees tremble. — Toni Morrison

We refuse to disappear. — Barbara Kingsolver

“I suppose that was the point of the lesson,” I said.

“Oh, no,” she said. “The point of the lesson is: People are unpredictable, and democracy is insane.” — Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec

“While the parade route itself should be a safe zone, we cannot hope to guarantee our safety while traveling, while rehearsing in public or while out and about in the D.C. area during the weekend,” the band’s board of directors said in a statement. “All minorities are at risk and any opportunity we give the new administration to co-opt a minority organization will likely be exploited to our detriment”. — DC Area Marching Bands Opt Out of the Inaugural Parade, NBC News

Identity politics is not the sole preserve of minority voters. This election is a reminder that identity politics in America is a white invention: it was the basis of segregation. The denial of civil rights to black Americans had at its core the idea that a black American should not be allowed to vote because that black American was not white. The endless questioning, before the election of Obama, about America’s “readiness” for a black President was a reaction to white identity politics. Yet “identity politics” has come to be associated with minorities, and often with a patronizing undercurrent, as though to refer to nonwhite people motivated by an irrational herd instinct. White Americans have practiced identity politics since the inception of America, but it is now laid bare, impossible to evade. — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Part of my coming to believe in an all-powerful deity was to let go of understanding it. I had to buy into the fact that bad things will always happen. I decided to accept that such events were not about God’s goodness; they were reminders that God doesn’t always arrange the universe to my liking. — Ana Marie Cox

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  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Onward from me too. I’m trying to find the things that I can do reliably in 2017 — I already call my reps semi-regularly, and obviously I’m going to have to do that a lot more during a goddamn Trump presidency. I also want to get more involved in local politics and activism, because I think that’s going to be really important too. We’ll see.

    • Akilah

      So am I. So far I have found one group to plug into. My biggest issue is finding a place that can use the limited time I have. Some organizations ask for 5+ hours/week, and I just can’t swing that.

  2. Tanya Patrice

    Excellent and thank you! I buried my head in the sand for possibly a little too long and went on a media blackout. I absolutely could not deal with this! But as you and Andi have correctly pointed out – “action” is what will make things better.

    Thanks again!

  3. Ally Bean

    I like your chosen mantra. And I think that Leslie Knope has a good point. I read the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quote somewhere along the way, and it made me think about the complexities of what has happened, and how to unravel this mess going forward. Education will certainly be part of the solution, but what else…?

    • Akilah

      Education and action–specifically getting involved in our local politics. Even though there’s a lot of top-down stuff in the US, most of our policies are local-up, so getting people in place locally to change things has to be a priority as well. Of course, there are SO MANY places to plug in that even picking something local can become overwhelming…

      • Ally Bean

        Good advice. Thank you.


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