At this fraught time, it is imperative that we demand accountability and action from our elected leaders. We have to tell them what we expect of them and then hold them to those expectations. Petitions are great, but they overshadow the important work of individual citizens going directly to their elected representatives for a redress of grievances. I don't think acts of individual kindness to strangers are bad, either. But what we face is not interpersonal, it's systemic and it must be fought systemically.
I understand not wanting to put a target on oneself when an autocrat is coming to power but I think of it this way: I am a queer, black academic. I'm already targeted by the incoming regime, so what the hell? I am certainly not going to go out like a punk-ass.
So I sent this letter today. If you are in a red state or a blue state, I think you need to do the same. It is completely acceptable to demand-from GOP and Dems alike-to know how they are going to defend the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold.
It really does matter what side you are on. It really does matter what elected officials do and it matters if you remain silent while they are doing it. It really does matter if you see what is going on and you are too paralyzed to act. It really does matter if you choose to only do things that make you feel better personally. It really does matter if you put yourself at risk to help others.
It really does matter.
Dear Senators, Thank you for your consistent and principled advocacy for the people of Massachusetts.
We face a real danger in the policies and people being brought out of the shadows and into a Trump administration. In addition to the know-nothing character of the President-Elect, our nation is being turned over to avowed white supremacists, Islamophobes, education privatizers, climate change deniers, and anti-choice zealots. I do not exaggerate when I tell you of the fear I feel for my safety as a gay black American. Hate crimes against African-Americans tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center have spiked since the election. The vile, racist underbelly of the nation has been legitimized. It is becoming abundantly clear that the President-Elect is ginning up hatred on social media and undermining our elections and our civil discourse.
This is not ordinary. And as President Obama said, "Where does this stop?" I think mass violence against immigrants, people of color, or Muslims is no longer a specter on the horizon. We are one tweet away from pogroms.
Senators, what are you and other elected officials across the political spectrum going to do to prevent the rise of fascism in our beloved country? I need to know that you will not participate in support or normalizing a Trumpist agenda that will enshrine the values of the KKK in the White House and our courts.
Over 2 million more Americans voted for Secretary Clinton and the President-Elect called all these people "illegal voters." This is disgusting, dangerous, dishonest and a direct attack on our voting rights. Trump is not to be supported or coddled. He must not be allowed to use the Federal government for the enrichment of his family's fortune. He must reveal his financial and political ties to foreign actors. His appointments must be held to scrutiny and denied and their racist, misogynistic views must be repudiated at every level. And principled statesfolk like yourselves must fight against this hateful agenda and ensure that Americans who will be the victims of racist Trump supporters are protected.
Senators, my great-grandfather was murdered by the Klan in Georgia. I know of what I speak and I know the things of which these people are capable. I do not think them minor and I do not dismiss them. No one in government should collaborate with them. They do not respond to reason since they do not believe in our shared humanity. The only thing they can be is defeated.
Please, let me know your strategy for resisting and opposing the Trumpist agenda that is so clearly anathema to our beloved nation.
Steve Locke Dedham, MA