It’s hard to know where to begin. 

These are life & death issues. We’re living through a period where white supremacy is not only the structural reality of our social and economic system – something that was invisible to many of us who benefited because of being understood as white, but now it is also normalized by a president who routinely spouts hate-filled racist and nationalist rhetoric at rallies where it is celebrated by his followers. The only good news in this is that many for whom white supremacy was invisible are now seeing it vividly and cannot ignore it.

So, what can you do about it? I mean you, specifically, as an individual who wants to make the world – or at least a small corner of it – better? Here’s a short list, in no particular order. You don’t have to do everything. Just do something:

  1. Name the problem. Words like white supremacy, capitalist patriarchy, cissexism, heterosexism, fascism, and other such labels might feel too academic, but they describe exactly what we are facing, and if we can’t name it we can’t fix it.
  2. Vote. The midterm elections are in just a few days. I know that there aren’t as many progressive, anti-racist, justice-inspiring candidates as we’d like, but this time around you have to vote against hate even if you can’t vote in support of love and justice just yet. (Note: Some of you can, and hopefully soon more of us will be able to do the same.)
  3. Take care of yourself. Remember the airplane safety lecture: In case of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, always put on your own mask before helping the person beside you. We’re experiencing a tremendous loss of cabin pressure, and we each need to be able to breath if we’re going to save ourselves from crashing. Drink water. Eat things that your body likes. Make time for sleep. Hug friends and family.
  4. Resist.  Attend rallies, vigils, and protests. Find organizations near you that are already doing this work, and join them. It’s so important that the hate and violence – and the slide towards fascism promoted by the president – not be normalized.
  5. Love each other. I know this might sound trivial, but it is exactly the opposite. Love is a radical act. It can propel us to take breathtaking risk and to protect one another. We need to do both.

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