Community Voices: ‘Don’t mourn, organize.’ After the election, it’s necessary to do both.

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This article originally appeared in Guante’s blog.

First of all, I think it’s worth noting that whatever emotional response you might have to this is valid. I’m not trying to push anyone right into “this doesn’t matter; let’s just get to work” mode. Similarly, I like the twist on the classic Joe Hill quote “don’t mourn; organize.” It’s possible to do both. It can be necessary to do both.

In that spirit, just wanted to share a few links and thoughts that have been helpful for me; maybe they can be helpful to you too.

 

 

1. Space to support each other:

Here are some events creating space for dialogue, processing, and community-oriented self-care in the near future, for anyone who might need it.

Community emotional support gathering
We ain’t scared: A Poetry healing session

Restoring Power Trauma & Resilience for Organizers

 

2. This interview with Mariame Kaba (@prisonculture on Twitter):

“[We] have to think and imagine bigger and understand that these things take a long time and we’re not going to end things in this moment, we’re not going to rebuild the entire world in seconds, and that we’re part of a long struggle.” – Mariame Kaba

 

3. Real talk from Jay Smooth:

“I don’t know if we will survive; I don’t know that we’ll be okay. But what I know, is that we will resist.”

 

 

4. A note on the MN Activist Project:

I put together this database of local activist organizations a few years back; it feels like it’s time for a major update. If you have notes for me, get in touch. Either way, I’m going to work on adding to this and making it as useful as it can be. A focus on local struggles is going to be an important tactic for the next four years.

Again – I wouldn’t dream of telling people how to process, or how to grieve, but it is worth noting that change comes from organized movements; now is a great time to get involved. Whether that involvement is showing up and working, supporting that work through donations, signal-boosting and leveraging networks, or something else, it’s key.

 

5. My thoughts:

I don’t think it’s helpful to just tell people to “relax.” Or, really, to tell people to do people anything. Let’s listen. Let’s be there for each other. Especially today. Check in on your people. If it is helpful for you to vision or brainstorm about activist plans, do that. If it is helpful to use this as an opportunity to more fully commit to a particular cause or movement, do that. If it is helpful to just hang out with friends or read a book alone, do that.

This matters. It’s bad. But I’m reminding myself that everything that we (and I’m thinking about the “we” who cares about equity and justice and empathy) told ourselves we’d have to do under a Clinton presidency is still the work that has to get done under a Trump one. It might be tougher now, and there might be other things that come up that will demand our attention, but again – I believe in this movement. I believe in us.

3 thoughts on “Community Voices: ‘Don’t mourn, organize.’ After the election, it’s necessary to do both.

    • First, we don’t try to talk them out of being frightened. We are all frightened. We tell them that yes this is a scary time but we will all work together to take care of them and to make this world safer. Tell them what they can do to be safe and to support their friends who may be victimized. Keep talking with them, asking them how things are in their spaces (school, daycare, etc.), asking them if they have any questions or ideas to share. Keep hugging them. Take care of yourself, so the children see how that’s done. And make sure they see you doing what you can to make things better and to resist trumpism.

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