Body Impolitic Faces the New United States

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Laurie and Debbie say:

standing-rock

Two and a half weeks ago, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, backed up by a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives.

We stand among the people who know that Donald Trump is a despicable human being, who is not intellectually, morally, ethically, or in any way qualified to run this country, and who know that the people he surrounds himself with are — to say the least — no better.

We are stand among the people who are in the process of committing more time, money, energy, and heart to the causes we believe in, to the people who are most threatened by this cataclysm, and the possibility that not all of the damage that is about to be wrought on this country will be permanent.

We stand among the people who categorically refuse to normalize the Trump presidency in any way, to cut the racists and haters and thieves in the government any slack, or to ever agree to a compromise with our “leaders” that throws anyone under the bus.

We named our blog, many years ago, because we wanted to write about bodies, and because the phrase “body politic” conveyed a kind of consensus about how bodies are seen and treated, a consensus we refused to share. Now we are more specifically engaged with the phrase. The dictionary defines “body politic” as “a group of persons united under a single governmental authority.” As the Body Impolitic, we are members of a group of persons united in resistance to our governmental authority.

We are working on what that will look like. You’ll still see photography posts, and probably even some old Body-Impolitic-style commentary on body image. But the focus will be on what we, and others, are doing to fight back. We’d love to hear what you are doing.

11 thoughts on “Body Impolitic Faces the New United States

  1. I’m starting with donations to a few organizations that do good and will continue to do good:

    Alameda County Community Food Bank, because keeping people fed is basic (http://www.accfb.org/).

    American Civil Liberties Union (www.aclu.org), which will continue the fight for voting rights and against predictable attempted incursions on civil rights

    Southern Poverty Law Center (https://www.splcenter.org/), which has a long history of monitoring and fighting hate crimes

    Pro Publica (https://www.propublica.org/), “Journalism in the Public Interest,” especially important after the monumental journalistic failures in the last 18 months

    Also trying to figure out where to donate time. Possibly I will work on Democratic GOTV efforts for the now-even-more-crucial midterms, but thinking longer-term, the Democrats desperately need state organizations that can get candidates into state legislatures and statewide offices across the country, and I have no idea what to do about that personally.

    What is useful to do in Oakland?

    1. So much is useful to do in Oakland. Showing Up for Racial Justice, the white ally organization arm of some Black Lives Matter! efforts, is very active in Oakland and has a training coming up in December. Oakland also has an active Anti-Police Terror Project, an Oakland Privacy Working Group, and my own the one London Breed got passed in San Francisco. (Read the whole thing; sanctuary city is only one piece of it.)

      Oakland is exactly the kind of city that has (or would have, if our City Council wasn’t such an inactive lump) the chance to show America what cities can do under Trump. Rebecca Kaplan, our City Councilmember at Large either is or recently has been at Standing Rock.

  2. I found myself on Facebook in the middle of election night, sharing misery with people I’ve never met who also could not sleep. As soon as the initial nausea and pain wore off, I settled into a low simmering anger and started looking for what I can do. I can’t physically go out or financially contribute. So far I’m offering support and validation to friends who are also looking for ways to take action. So far this is just signing petitions, writing letters and most recently postcards to electors.

    Linda Ramos shared a post on Facebook from Unity minister Nell Ziehl about dealing with people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder who are in a position of power or influence. The last two sentences of that post helped me get a handle on going forward:

    “Focus on what you can change and how you can resist, where you are. We are all called to be leaders now, in the absence of leadership.”

    To be brutally honest, I was taken by surprise by the election results, and I don’t like that feeling. I kind of agree with Jon Stewart’s comment that the country hasn’t changed from two weeks ago, we just have a much clearer view of the pain points. In Buddhism, we call this “the true aspect” and I think it is better to have an accurate map of what’s actually happening than to not be able to see what obstacles and pitfalls are in front of us. Now how to combat this horrifying situation is an answer (or answers) I’m still seeking.

    I’m open to joining in any effort that anyone suggests in any way I can at this point. I’m not indulging in the kind of rage that damages me (I know that rage, it’s counter productive). But I’m also ready to fight and I know I’ll be baseline angry until we not only survive but prevail in this struggle.

  3. In Manhattan visiting Mr. Trump’s castle in the sky Trump Towers to protest the inconceivable. Marching with Black Life’s Matter in solidarity with the Water Keepers, heading down to Philly with my daughters on Dec 9th to protest the unconscionable treatment of Mumia Abu- Jamal. Working locally with the Alliance For Families For Justice to strive for incarcerated men and women’s rights, close Rikers Island is a warehouse of poor in New York City while they await trial and a chamber of horrors. Also we are trying to aid incarnated men and women to help them transition into society when they do get out. In New York State a women or man who defends themselves from an abusive spouse or partner is committing a crime. As unjust as that sounds it is a sad truth, so we are also working to change that and free those jailed for the crime of trying to survive and not be a victim.

  4. I’m doing much the same, reorganizing my life and figuring out the most useful things I can do.

    These comments give me a very positive feeling (when I’m certainly not feeling positive) about people marshaling themselves for resistance.

    I’m hoping to hear more about what people are feeling and doing. We need to share these things with each other. Sharing is part of resistance.

    Lisa,

    I just made similar contributions. Thanks for the links. Deb will know useful work in Oakland.

    Check out “An open letter to Our Nation from 100 women of color leaders” – https://our100.org/

    Lynne,

    I think many people were shocked as you were, and are working their way through the shock and into resistance work. I too am working on putting my anger to work usefully in the very difficult new world.

    The Neil Ziehl quote is a very useful frame for what we need to do.

    Mike,

    Those are great work choices. Working with and for the incarcerated is important, and not surprisingly, neglected work.

  5. I agree, those are great choices. Mike, thanks for doing that work!

    Lisa Hirsch, working with the incarcerated, or the recently released, is another terrific choice. Oakland’s Reply

  6. There are so many paths we can take to help combat this racist-in-the-making presidency. I think it is imperative that each of us, that can, find a group or groups we can support and devote time and resources to to fight this tyranny. What an inspiring post.

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