Reminder for the 2022 midterms on Tuesday, November 8th:
Your involvement in the electoral process doesn't have to take away from your other activist approaches. You can do both.
Your absence from the political sphere is missed only by your allies, but certainly not by your enemies.
Discouraging people from voting actually *does* cause harm and regression in won political territory (that is, lost territory once-claimed by progressive policies.)
Not to overuse the cliche, but a lack of a vote for the lesser-evil provides strength for votes for the greater evil. Despite disputes raised against this claim, it has not, to date, been invalidated--our country is still partially democratic and thus we should wield what little power we *do* have while we can, instead of abandoning it.
Even though systemic issues (often to the point of corruption) are very real, and the System is, itself, often the enemy, picking up an enemy musket on enemy land to use against its owner isn't unwise. The current system currently has more force than those who oppose the system--we should use what little share of the power is allotted to us to hold it accountable.
We must come to terms with the fact that very little will change within our lifetimes, and that these battles are nevertheless worth fighting.
We must also come to terms with the fact that many (though not all) forms of the Drastic Overhaul, the Great Revolution, will not only create a power vacuum but leave many who previously relied on the system's provisions ("won territory," e.g., gay rights, positive healthcare policies, public transportation, etc.) all the more vulnerable.
Spreading the misinformation that no good has been done in the political sector discounts the ground that *has* been claimed in the name of progress.
Sometimes both activism and policy go hand-in-hand, and cannot work well on their own. The one often requires the strength of the other (e.g., having progressive politicians in office heightens the chance for protests, labor movements, etc. to be heard and take effect via policy change.)
An American painter, David Michael Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was incredibly prominent in the East Village art scene, and an important AIDS activist until he died from it.
Wojnarowicz was born in New Jersey but grew up in New York, working as a street hustler while he was in high school. In his twenties, Wojnarowicz began creating avant-garde street art, being recognized for his stencils of houses on fire that he put on the walls of actual buildings. He also made super-8 films and collaborated with other artists in the New York art scene of the 70s and 80s.
In 1987, his mentor and lover, Peter Hujar, died of AIDS and Wojnarowicz learned he was HIV-positive. Reeling from the death of the man he loved and confronting his own death, Wojnarowicz began creating art more explicitly political in content, especially about the AIDS crisis.
You may recognize Wojnarowicz's work from the following photograph--it was used on the cover of the song "One" by U2 (which may have been at least partly inspired by Wojnarowicz's story).
You may recognize Wojnarowicz from the following photograph--this is him, in his own jacket.
How many of your friends posted about the Texas synagogue hostage attack yesterday? Because almost all the people I saw who did so were Jews. Too often when I see antisemitic attacks occur, I see a lot of outspoken activists remain silent. I don't expect people to be perfect and talk about every attack against every group of people ever, but the complete lack of conversation is still disturbing
Burnout is honestly such a mild word for what people use it to mean. I'm not experiencing "burnout", which sounds so casual and routine that some face masks and a little rest is going to fix it.
My body and mind and even nervous system are stretched to the point that it's going to take a lot more than just a "break" or a few self care tips to recover, and even then, my recovery is just so that I can reenter the spaces that contributed to me being this way in the first place. I'm a little bit more than just burnt out by this.
Workplaces and educational institutions aggressively overwork us, expose us to all kinds of discrimination, which they overlook and gaslight us out of acknowledging, and then constantly ask us to ignore our mental, emotional, and physical needs so that we don't inconvenience them.
We're not burnt out. We're borderline traumatized. Burnout is always talked about like something transient and mild that a little rest and relaxation will fix.
But we're exhausted. We need deep rest and healing. We need new systems. We need new ways of being. The language around burnout just seems like a way of upholding these current violent systems and downplaying their impacts.
People post Greece as an aesthetic whether it's our mythology or our beautiful islands. Now we need you more than ever. Our country is literally burning, we have no help, no resources and new fire fronts are developing each hour and heading towards villages. People and animals are in danger. The fires are not going out and it's windy. Please share this, spread awareness. Greece is always first to send help when other European countries are in need of help. Please share.
An awesome 'What's More Punk Than The Public Library' t-shirt, which you can buy here. Made by the Mount Pleasant Library Friends.
[ID: A black t-shirt with white cut-out text in the middle that reads: WHAT'S MORE PUNK THAN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY?]
Since a lot of folks on Tumblr like to write, a really slept on form of activism is writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper and pitching opinion pieces. I see posts from folks on here all the time that could totally be adapted into short LTEs or even full op-eds.
These can be written for any issue, but if you're interested in doing this for climate action, the Citizens' Climate Lobby has a great tool that will find all of your local (US) newspapers and allow you to easily send LTEs to as many as you'd like with only a couple of clicks. (The tool says to write about the Energy Innovation Act but really they're happy to have you write about anything). The tool doesn't work outside of the US unfortunately, but most newspapers will list an email address on their website which you can send LTEs to directly.
Here is a simple outline and example of how to write an LTE, which only needs to be about 200 words or fewer:
Reference something in the news or a specific part of a news story from your local paper.
Transition into how that news relates to climate change.
Identify a solution.
Present a call to action.
Optional tip: consider including the names of senators or members of congress. Politicians usually have staff who search media for references to them, and "tagging" them like this helps put your issues on their radar.
And that's it! You can talk about any problem or solution you're passionate about, whether it's carbon pricing, EV vehicles, reducing flights, plant-based food systems, or anything else, and they're supposed to be super short so you don't have to worry about knowing all the details or citing specifics or anything stressful. But feel free to spice it up beyond this basic outline as well. Watch CCL's video on writing effective LTEs here for more guidance.
Whether or not your LTE gets published, encouraging media coverage of climate action matters. Climate change is critically under-reported, and just showing your newspaper that their readers care about environmental issues is a meaningful form of activism.
a disabled activist i follow on instagram said “take time to get to know your body in a soft and tender way far removed from the medical glare” like 6 months ago and i haven’t stopped thinking about it… i DO deserve to know my body in a forgiving and understanding way
trump finalized auctioning off land in the arctic national wildlife refuge to oil and gas companies which would not only damage the ecosystem, negatively impact wildlife, and pollute one of the last environmental regions untouched by human greed but it would also disproportionately affect the Gwich’in who rely on the migration of caribou in that region.
reblog or maybe consider donating to the natural resources defense council on this?
look. other people have commented on this before, but it seems like it needs to be said again because some of y’all aren’t getting the message.
asian people are a marginalized minority. what about this do people not understand. asian people are marginalized because we live in a system of white supremacy and in this system, asian people will never be white and will never have the power of white people. just because a lot of asians are relatively well off financially does not mean we are not marginalized; there are other ways to be excluded and treated as unequal besides in terms of money, and this completely ignores the millions of asian people who are poor and working class, including the women who were killed in atlanta. asian people are not basically white- we look different, so we are treated different, just like any minority. it’s that simple. if asian people were not marginalized, why else would hate crimes against asian people rise dramatically in 2020. why else would we be attacked in the streets. why else would people tell us to go back to where we came from. why else would the chinese exclusion act be passed, japanese american citizens be shipped to the midwest during world war 2, vietnamese people massacred by american soldiers in the 70s. asian people are being killed now. if we are not marginalized, why are there targets on our backs for existing.
black lives matter and stop asian hate are movements for social justice that have the same root cause: destroying white supremacy. black and asian communities have often been pitted against each other by white institutions seeking to take advantage of sowing discord between minority groups, but there is a rich history of black-asian solidarity during the fight for civil rights in the late 20th century. yes, anti-blackness is a real, endemic issue in asian communities, especially among older asians. and yes, asians can also experience racism (see this addition on a reblog about why i changed this) hate from black individuals- see these examples of cardi b using an anti-asian slur, this incident that happened yesterday of a black man pouring unknown liquid on an asian woman. neither is acceptable. supporting one movement does not negate your support for the other. you can do both, in fact, you should do both. realize that we all have a common enemy here, and it’s the system of white supremacy that has oppressed us. we are not free from white supremacy until it is all entirely eradicated, for everyone.
just because i speak in the collective sense about asian people does not mean that all asian people are the same. even though some of us may look similar, with black hair and “small” eyes, that is only a representative image of some east/southeast asian people. asia is vast and incredibly diverse, and each nation has its own culture, language, and traditions. in addition, the asian diaspora is huge. asian people live all over the world, in varying economic, social, and political situations. different asian people in different areas have very different problems, even within the same country. an asian in a small town in nebraska will have a very different experience than an asian in paris. a korean person will have a different experience in a given place from an indian person. i don’t know how many times in my life i’ve been asked, “are you chinese?” the answer is no, i’m not, and a lot of asians aren’t chinese. tied into this is the mistaken belief of some nonasians in the western world that all asians are still allegiant to the country of their heritage and speak the language of that country, which manifests in comments like “oh your english is so good!” or “are you, like, communist?” first off, it ignores the very real possibility that an asian person could be born outside asian countries, and second, being from a certain country by no means determines whether you’re loyal to it and agree with its policies. i just saw this with an anon claiming all chinese people support the government’s reeducation camps for uyghur muslims. this is absolutely preposterous.
finally, a word on allyship. i have zero faith in people- and by that i mean white people- to continue talking about this and spreading awareness about anti-asian racism. part of it is this model minority myth, that asians are basically as well off as white people, at least financially and academically, so they can figure things out by themselves. no. absolutely not. we cannot get out of the hole white supremacy has put us into without white people making a genuine, legitimate effort to confront their own biases. your white tears, your prayers and thoughts, they mean nothing when the blood of our families and friends runs in the streets. they mean nothing if you haven’t bothered to learn a single thing about your own prejudices. i hope to god that i am wrong about this. i hope for my family, my friends, and myself that y’all will continue to be loud about this, because we are tired of screaming for help in a crowd where we are invisible and no one cares. but i’m a skeptic for a reason, and it took a massacre for people to notice what was happening. i don’t know if i’ll ever be proven wrong.
here are some links and posts below where you can learn about this issue and donate:
anti-asian violence resources
61 places to donate to help asian americans
microaggressions against asian people
twitter thread of resources
asian therapists in the us and canada
asian hate coping resources (in several different languages)