FYI, I’m in a mood. Sorry about last week, I was suffering from “the world is falling apart and on top of that my body is hosting its own private revolution” syndrome. Allow me to say that chronic illness sucks, Lupus is stupid, and even though the new medication is working and my good days are starting to outnumber the bad, those bad days are still miserable and the good days are nowhere near what they used to be.
I bring up my health because being part of the resistance takes energy and we must recognize what folks who have been on the frontlines for years already know. Change takes time, is painful, and all-consuming. The luxury of sitting back and letting other folks carry the water, while we clap and congratulate them for their sacrifice is gone. It’s time to pony up but committing to the long haul’ but that means learning your limits and giving yourself a break when you need it. Self-care is something us Social Workers have been banging on about for years. It’s time to take a lesson from us and learn how to protect yourself so you can live to fight another day!
Stuff to Keep an Eye On
Hint: you may want to have a paper bag handy, you know, for when the panic attack hits and you start to hyperventilate or to vomit into, either way. The choice is yours!
The first Amendment is Under Attack. Being part of the resistance is grueling and it’s only going to get worse. Sorry, folks, it sucks but it’s true. Did you know that, according to CNN, at least 18 states have introduced bills that are aimed at “cracking down” on protests? That’s right, you’re first amendment right to peaceful assembly and free speech is on the ropes.
Action Idea: Most state legislatures have a website that will tell you about active legislation. If there is a bill limiting first amendment freedoms, call your representative and let them know it’s not okay. If there isn’t, that’s great, but check the active legislation in your state regularly.
Congress is back in town, fresh from two weeks of traveling around making excuses for or fighting against fall-out from the devastating, nonsensical ramblings of a giant orange man-child. If you want to see what’s up in the US House of Representatives check out their Bills to Be Considered on the House Floor This Week page and their Legislative Schedule. Click here to search for the name of your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives (make sure that you have your full zip code, last four digits and all. You can get your full zip code at usps.gov). If you’re after information about the Senate, here is a list of the ACTIVE LEGISLATION and Committee Hearings.
Climate change impacts everything from bees to political unrest and everything in between. Last weekend Science Marches across the globe brought tens of thousands of people to the streets to call for science based policy not policy based science. Apart from some incredibly entertaining signs, the marches highlighted the terrifying fact that science and reason have taken a backseat to religion and rhetoric. The majority of the world’s scientific community supports the statement that humans are contributing to global climate change, but politicians on the right continue their war on the planet despite valid, correlative and causal evidence to the contrary (See Politifact Virginia, 4/4/2016, Don Beyer says 97% believe humans contribute to global warming).
Action Idea: Not everyone has the luxury to buy a hybrid car or even shop for locally grown/sourced foods, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t live the principles by doing whatever what they can like: turning the water off while they brush their teeth, running the air conditioner less, quitting smoking, recycling, buying local foods when it’s possible, and taking part in neighborhood clean-ups.
Gay men in Chechnya are being arrested, tortured, and killed (See The Independent, 4/25/2017, Chechnya wants to eliminate by end of May, reports suggest). There has been an outcry in the press, but stony silence from the US President and Congress. Being LGBTQ results in a death sentence in Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and United Arab Emirates (See The Washington Post, 6/16/2016, Here are 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death). There’s violence in western democracies as well. A 2016 report in The New York Times cited FBI statistics that LGBTQ folks are more at risk for being victims of a hate crime than ANY OTHER MINORITY GROUP in the US (See The New York Times, 6/16/2016, L.G.B.T People are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes Than Any Other Minority Group).
Action Idea: Call your Congresspersons and let them know that, as a world leader, the US must do better in standing for freedom and the rights of all people.
Women’s healthcare is under fire. Last week our Cheetoh-in-Chief signed a bill into law that let’s states defund Planned Parenthood because, you know, who cares how many women die from breast cancer or AIDs. It’s all about the zygote, even though, according to CNN, abortion only accounts for 3% of the overall services that Planned Parenthood provides, and not a dime of federal funding goes to providing safe, legal abortions (See CNN.com, 4/14/2017, Trump Privately Signs anti-Planned Parenthood law).
Action Idea: Check up on state initiatives like “heart-beat bills” and make calls to your state lawmakers.
There is a budget storm brewing because Trump and his cadre of vipers have threatened to hold people’s access to healthcare hostage because they want to put funding for the border wall in the budget. Trump is still banging on about building a wall along the southern border of the United States. You know, to keep out all those marauding gangs that are streaming over our southern border to rape, murder, and pillage. Nothing says: “I care about the people” like gutting agencies that keep them healthy and safe and taking away preventive and life-sustaining care from millions of people to pay for a wall that is an infantile, wrongheaded response to a complex issue (See Politico, 4/21/2017, Schumer jabs White House over offer to fund Obamacare subsidies in exchange for border wall).
Action Ideas: Read the Federal Budget and understand what is at stake, then let your Congressperson what you want and that you’re informed and you’re ready to fight for it!