Friday, December 2, 2016

Resistance Fridays

So yeah, I'm concerned. And likely to stay that way for a while. I'm concerned that less than a quarter of this country's eligible voters have elected a sexist, narcissist charlatan who has shown a willingness to get into bed with racists, white supremacists, and white nationalists, and who either hasn't read the constitution or doesn't give a damn about things like a free press and the rule of law.

I'm concerned that the president-elect is more interested in appearing before a cheering crowd than actually doing the business of governing, which appears to bore him.

I'm concerned that the president-elect does not read, nor does he care to know anything that does not confirm what he already believes.

So I am resisting.

Part of that resistance is by keeping on doing what I'm already doing: by teaching, by underlining the importance of critical thinking, by refusing to give ignorance a pass. Part is mentally preparing for what I will do if confronted with injustice: mentally preparing myself to intervene. Part is writing checks. Part is volunteering to volunteer. Part is making calls, registering my protest with people who can make a difference. Reaching out to people who might be swayed.

Mostly, I need to make an appointment with resistance, and make it part of my schedule. Because human beings can adapt to the most atrocious circumstances, and decide that the unacceptable is actually acceptable. And it's not.

So I hereby declare "Resistance Fridays." Every Friday, I will report an act of resistance, small or large, a concrete measure I have taken to push back against the unacceptable.  I have no illusions: I know that most outcomes will be losses. But I can't not fight back. And dedicating some time, once a week, to resisting will remind me to stay in the fight.

Here is this Friday's act:

This week, the news is full of reports of how the incoming President's business holdings make him vulnerable to quid-pro-quo arrangements. He will have the power to appoint the head of the National Labor Relations Board, an organization that is currently ordering him to correct violations of federal labor law at his hotels. He will appoint the next head of the Justice department, a federal bureau investigating financial malfeasance of Deutsche Bank, a financial institution holds millions in Trump family loans. He continues to lean on Scotland about wind farms that, according to him, mar the view from the Trump golf course. And, of course, there are the foreign diplomats flocking to stay at the Trump Hotel on Pennsylvania avenue -- a property that Trump leases from the federal government, under a contract that states that no federal employee may profit from the lease.

I would not worry about his dealings now if he had even an ounce of shame. He does not. If he is not stopped, he will continue to bleed the country dry for his own benefit. It's unethical. It's shameful. It's gross.

Yet there have been two rays of sunshine in all this. The first was the Office of Government Ethics' masterful Twitter-trolling of the Troll-in-Chief, right down to imitating his diction and punctuation. The second was that the Senate introduced a resolution urging His Orangeness to divest.

I'm down with that. So my Friday act of resistance was to write both of my senators, thanking them, and my Representative, asking him to sign on if such a thing came through the house -- or maybe to propose something himself.

Resistance Fridays: Make it a thing.


Tech Mom said...

Great idea! I will follow your example.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I used the phrase "grab 'em by the pussies" today in class -- in front of colleagues and almost 200 students -- to demonstrate that we are still metaphorically fighting the Trojan War in 2016. Some students gasped when I said pussies. I said, "If you're shocked at me saying those words, just remember that I'm quoting the president elect. Those aren't MY words -- they're his."