Some of my fellow cishet able white male friends have been saying recently that they hate what’s being done by people like Farage and Trump, but don’t know what to do about it other than post on Facebook or whatever.
I am going to begin a list of practical actions we can all take in support of change. I am going to try and post actions frequently. I will update this page with each action at the same time so there’s a complete list here.
The criteria for inclusion on this list are that:
- the action must be takable by one person on their own
- taking the action must contain the potential to make an actual change in the world.
Criterion 2 rules out simply posting on Facebook or moaning to one’s friends down the pubbe. Real commitment to change means taking a position against fuckers. Accept now that you will be inconvenienced in the living of your daily life as you take action against fuckery. But it’s for the good of humanity, and you will feel a lot better about yourself, and you will make some good friendships and be part of a growing resistance dedicated to giving actual support to people instead of supporting them in theory while in reality we moan amongst ourselves into an echo chamber and they get hit in the face repeatedly.
What do we want to do?
Defend our sisters and brothers!
Shut down fuckers!
Anyone who wants to add to this list is welcome to send or post ideas. If posted, you can choose whether to be anonymous or attributed.
Today’s action (27 January 2017) is this:
I heard from a friend today, who fears for her future under Trump and Brexit because she is a person of colour, that the expressions of support and solidarity from white friends make a big difference to her emotional wellbeing. So today here is my suggestion:
- Call or email a friend who is not a cishet able white man. Tell them in a straightforward and matter-of-fact way that you stand with them, that you are against the racist, anti-women, anti-queer, anti-disabled agenda that is coming from Farage, Trump, (insert other names here), and that if there is ever any occasion they feel like they need to talk, or they need help or protection in a certain situation, they can count on you. You have to mean this – understand that you may have to take a baseball bat in the face from a racist to stand up for your friend. This is our choice – to stand up and make a difference or to sit down and be on the side of the oppressor.
IMPORTANT: Remember that this person owes you nothing and has not asked for your support – it’s not up to them to validate your action. They may or may not welcome your contact on this matter. Be ready to be ignored and ready to listen to any response without judgement or expectation. Hopefully as you are friends you will know them well enough for this not to be a worry anyway. Don’t blame me if it all goes wrong I am not a psychologist goddammit.
If you don’t have any friends who are not cishet white men, here are a couple of other possibilities:
- Make or order a t-shirt today that says something like: MUSLIMS WELCOME. EU MIGRANTS WELCOME. FASCISTS GO HOME. PRO QUEER PRO CHOICE PRO COLOUR. Or your own version. When it arrives, wear it in public where there are people you don’t know so you can feel uncomfortable not knowing what your fellow white men are thinking as they look at it. This may polarise reactions, but that’s a good thing – you need to know who is on what side. And as cishet able white men it’s up to those of us that are against oppression to convince those who aren’t to change – recognise this isn’t going to happen over one conversation but after a series of experiences.
- Make a placard saying WE SUPPORT YOU. NO TO ISLAMOPHOBIA. Take it to your local mosque around prayer time and stand respectfully and ready for conversation (or no conversation) as people enter or exit.
The change in the world we want to make today is:
A positive difference in the emotional wellbeing of one person who is feeling under threat from recent political changes.
That’s it for now.
These might be dumb ideas or they might not be. Tomorrow/later this week I will try to come up with another action we can take against fuckery. Or you can suggest one. Remember: even if we can’t change the system immediately, we still have the power to improve life for our fellow humans today.
Sorry if I come across as a fool, it’s late and I’m probably out of juice.