6 Things You Can Do Instead of Protesting
I saw a quote recently from Twitter that said something to the tune of if you want to know what you would've done during Civil Rights, now you know. I have a confession.
When Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and countless others at this point happened, I discovered something about myself. I wasn't comfortable with protesting. I had to figure out why I was so uncomfortable with it, and I did. For one, I was terrified of getting arrested. It's one of my top 10 fears in the world and has been since I was 10. Also, I'm considered an ambivert, but I learn more towards introverted most days. So being really loud and around large groups isn't my thing. It makes me uncomfortable and pull into myself, and what kind of protester is that? When I figured this out about myself, I felt like a coward. How can I care so much about people and want change, but yet not be doing the work?
I've now realized that the work happens in multiple places, not just the streets. I give a lot of respect to people like Deray and Netta, who are constantly pounding the pavements for the rights of people of color. What protesters do are extremely important for awareness and togetherness, but there are other ways that you can help the cause.
With this list I'm going to provide six different ways that you can resist and be apart of the movement besides protesting.
1. In The Words of Travis Scott, Pick Up The Phone Baby
As a person who has a slight phone anxiety, I understand that being on the phone sucks. But being on the phone is actually the most effective way to reach your government. Multiple sources of who have worked directly with senators and representatives have said this. And good news! It's actually really easy. When you call the office, you'll usually get either an aid or voicemail. You do not need to convince them about why you feel a certain way. All you need to do is tell them your name, your zip code, and how you feel. For example, My name is Ellen Robinson. I live in 00000. I would like for the Senator to vote no on Sessions. That's it.
When you tell them how you feel, it does not have to be long. You don't even need to have attitude. Often times, they're simply taking a tally of yes or no or what issues are most important, so you don't have to convince them. They're not going to argue with you. But if you have a story, tell it! Stories that are really significant or different or heart-wrenching will often be forwarded directly to the person you're calling and sometimes you can get a direct response back.
So don't be nervous. Pull out your best Kate Gosselin circa 2005 haircut having, "Let me speak to your manager voice" and be heard!
2. Join a Local Group
Change starts locally. Find a group around where you live that shares the same agenda as you. Within these groups, there will be tasks to help you fight what's going on. These groups will know exactly what you need to do in your own community to make change happen.
I joined Indivisible, which is led by former congressional staffers who know what it takes to get our voices heard. Indiviisble is a nationwide initiative, so it's located all over. But here is a list of some other groups where you can get involved:
- National Women's Liberation (NYC, Gainesville, FL)
- Showing Up For Racial Justice (Nationwide)
- The Sierra Club (Nationwide)
- CAIR (Nationwide)
There are many more groups out there. If you know of one, please place it in the comments below, and I'll update this list with links.
There are lots and lots of people who will be affected by the actions of Tangerine Mussolini's administration and Congress. Reach out to those communities who will need some support and volunteer in any way you can. Sites like Togetherlist.com will help you find a way to support the causes you're interested in.
4. Show Them The Money
Do you have money? It's time to use it now. Betsy DeVos bought her way into the White House. It's time for us to buy our way into change. Now you may not have Betsy DeVos money, but I guarantee you that even $20 makes a difference. Think about it. If 5 people give $20 that's $100. It adds up, and it adds up quickly. Sites like Togetherlist.com can also help you find causes to donate to, but here are others you can give your coin to:
- Plan C (They're stockpiling emergency contraceptive for women if prices skyrocket or Plan B becomes something that's not possible to get to.)
- Planned Parenthood
- International Rescue Committee
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Camp of Sacred Stones (#NoDAPL)
- The Trevor Project (LGBT suicide prevention)
Again, if you know of any other organization that needs donations, please place it in the comments below, and I will add to the the list.
5. Small, Daily Actions
It's truly the little things that count. And lucky for us, there's the internet. Here are sites that will give you daily action items that you can do to continue to resist that aren't necessarily protesting.
- Daily Action Mobile Updates: Get a text every morning of a small task you can do to resist.
- Project 1461: An action a day for every day that Cheeto Satan will be in office.
- Wall-Of-Us: Weekly actions that you can take against the administration
- Flippable: Help flip some of those red seats to blue come 2018 by taking action now.
6. Talk to Your Friends
So there were a lot of people who voted for Donnie right. There were some crazies. There were some too far gones. But a lot of voters were voters who "meant well." If you are any kind of minority, there's a great chance that they don't realize what your struggle it. Talk to them about race. Talk to them about women's rights. Have them watch an environmental documentary with you. Correct them when step out of line about those in the LGBT community. Show them your realizations of your day to day. You are going to make the most change with the people in your life. Yelling at people on the internet, while fun, is often not going to end with "Oh! I see what you mean here. I'm going to try and fix my ways." So skip that and focus on who in your life could change.
(And cut off the crazies. You just don't need them. They'll come around eventually, but you don't have to wait for them to do it. At least unfollow them on Facebook. Save yourself a headache.)
That's the end of my list, but I will continue to update this. If you want to see change. If you're upset with what's going on, you've got to do something about it. Protesting may not be your jam, but figure out what it is and hop to it. We've got fighting to do.