Do not conform.
Do not give in.
Do not let the soul within you be molded or driven cold by circumstances, geopolitics, megalomania and division, or desperate people flinging their abuse at you because they think you’re a snowflake.
Do not let the Soft Fascism on the rise since 9/11 become hardened with jackboots, brown shirts [or red ball caps], mass deportations, Gitmo and internment camps off limits to the press.
Pay attention to those you’ve ignored because maintaining your delusions is so obviously risky.
But don’t let your guard down and condone racism and bigotry. Take a moment to endure the trigger warning from Tabatha Southey and be vigilant about holding racists and bigots accountable.
Pay attention to Kellie Leitch, who is bolder than she ever was with her Barbaric Cultural Practices Orwellian snitch line, because Trump has provided cover and legitimacy for her pandering to old stock Canadians. Pay attention to Frank Navarro, a California Holocaust historian and high school teacher, who was suspended just days after the election for using actual facts to compare the Trump presidential campaign to the rise of Hitler.
Lean on your constitution, your moral leaders, your Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Lean on your dignity and integrity and build up your community. Your people are your bedrock. And you are theirs.
Do not conform.
Do not conform to the trends of corporate media continuing their profit orgy by continuing to stoke division and extremism. Seek measured voices who too are grounded in wisdom and insight, hope and selflessness, faith in humanity and a roadmap to a more civilized world.
Do not conform to despair. It’s a luxury of the entitled. Make sure you follow your words with liberating action!
Do not embrace your delusions: “And if you are black or Hispanic or Muslim or trans or gay or a woman, the answer is: Yes, they do hate you that much.” That’s why they voted for him, but when you protest the one they elected, you also have to protest those who voted for him.
And your entitlements are legion. The truly gifted can enumerate them. If you can’t count them all, calibrate with your people, the ones who will be truly honest with you.
And if you don’t have anyone who can fix you, Ruth Hopkins can:
I'm a native woman from the Rez. Trump becoming President is not the worst thing I've been through. It's not even in the top 10. Heck, 20.
— Ruth Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) November 9, 2016
And if you have gotten this far, know that you are not alone. Know that you are in the midst of silent millions.
You need to shout to them to not conform! Email/share/Facebook/tweet this screaming rant to them, or better yet, write your own manifesto creed of the future you want to pivot to!
You need to call out racism, sexism, bigotry, climate change denial, scapegoating, policy based on ignorance, the celebration of ignorance, the rejection of facts and truth and science, and seek out opportunities to use your privilege to empower others. And you need to beware accidental/intentional fascist references when Trump’s transition team talks about making the trains run on time.
Then you need to be quiet and let the disenfranchised speak.
We saw it with the Sanders rallies. The Clinton/DNC/media machine silenced that avenue for justice, so people took the Trump way. The frightened people, the desperate people, the people with nothing more to lose.
Now we need to fight even harder for what we thought we wanted all along. And we need to shake our heads and silently move past Trump playing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” after his acceptance speech. And hit the mute button on the trolls in Twitter. Life is too short to feed the trolls. Move on and build up your people.
We need to seek out allies from unusual places. The Ruth Hopkins of the world. Canada’s Bernie Sanders. The people who silently champion the oppressed.
It is their world we need to illuminate with anything at our disposal because we are pivoting into a future of our making. OUR making!
Because we are all in this together.
I heard we’re meant to tell it like it is now, so I wrote a column calling people who vote for racism “racists.” https://t.co/Bx4aaXlDS8 pic.twitter.com/WOIx9wliWt
— Tabatha Southey (@TabathaSouthey) November 12, 2016
Don’t let them get you down.
You’re not alone.
You’re not powerless.
And even though Trump’s ignorance may make America a magnet for terrorism, you cannot let the rage and spin machine divide us further because even the facts of the division are constantly being spun, when in reality they look like this:
Red/blue maps are deceiving. Here's a map of results w/county size scaled to proportion of the population. More here https://t.co/z4YTveu5be pic.twitter.com/0Vl0mbdRqx
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) November 13, 2016
Be the light you wish to see in the world. Be the change. Be the bus driver of all your people, so you can pick up new ones on the way.
Because every swastika is one too many swastikas. Because as Umair Haque says, the fascists are always better than us at marketing because they don’t bother with rationality. WE need some Banksy guerilla street art encouraging love and community and mutual aid.
Help let America be America again, not great again like the vague red caps say, but how Langston Hughes said it because he spoke of the peace we are seeking, not the KKK parade that wears the red cap under the white hood of hatred. Because even while Trump’s party condemns the parade, the president-elect reiterates his desire to deport millions of Mexicans immediately.
Our future is one that Langston wrote:
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme That any man be crushed by one above.
You can dream that dream too. Read the rest of Langston. Feel his vision and passion and faith in humanity.
Feel it in yourself because no Electoral College can douse that burning flame.
Feel it in Kurt Vonnegut’s words: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.” BE your better self, your best self!
Do not conform.
Do NOT give in.
Do not lose your soul and your sense of the vision of all who’ve come before us.
We owe it to them and to future generations who need our light.
Do not conform, I beg you, WE beg you!
Thanks Stephen. Good post. BTW, I believe you know my daughter Véronique.
Thanks, yes! 🙂