Saturday, November 19, 2016

Actions vs. Words

I posted this to FaceBook today, and I am sharing it here, as well.
This is a long, long post. So take your time, and if you want to read it, make time for the whole thing. This post touches on a few sensitive issues, and I will not tolerate hateful, spiteful comments - they will simply be deleted. I am posting this to my blog as well. 
Many of you know me, so I hope you will read this and understand. I have seen a number of FB posts calling for an apology from the Hamilton cast. (Echoing Trump’s demand). I write this not to approve of or disapprove of the actions of the Hamilton cast (I have no place or power to do that). I write this to bring out the fact that we need to consider the reasons for their action. Reasons which include feeling that this was perhaps the only way they would actually be heard. 
Some people have assumed that the cast took the action they did in order to embarrass VP-elect Pence. I seriously doubt that.
Assumptions are dangerous. 
Some people say that the cast was being “sanctimonious” and that “actions speak louder than words”. 
Well - I await Pence and Trump's actions. So far (and by that, I mean in looking at each of their pre-election records in office and in business). I am sad to say: I am less than impressed. I am making no assumption that they will do things differently than they have thus far, but I do await their actions. 
I came across a post questioning why it is that “liberals think they are the only ones who care about people”. Well, I am a liberal, and I don't think that liberals are the only ones who care about people. I know many conservatives who do care, and who show that in their actions, and I thank them. As far as that “sanctimonious” characterization goes, most of the liberals I work with are hard-working, humble people. As has been said - actions, or the lack thereof, do speak louder than words. So far, in my opinion, Trump's and Pence's actions have not shown any compassion, but rather have served to marginalize many, many already disenfranchised people.
As far as more “actions” speak - In my own work as a pastor, I had many, many counseling appointments in these days immediately following the election, dealing with peoples’ “actions”. Although specifics about this are confidential, I will share that  I have been busy helping people deal with justified fear, anger, terror, and anxiety; and helping them deal with how to respond to being physically attacked, verbally attacked or having had cars and property vandalized simply for being people of color, disabled, female, or part of the LGBTQ community. The attacks have come from people claiming to support Trump/Pence. Then vandalism included "Trump/Pence" names spray painted or carved/scratched into cars, buildings (yes I saw photos).
At the same time, I have spoken with and, I hope helped, people who are angry about the angry response to the election. They are troubled by the protests, and feel that the President and Vice-President elect are not being given a chance.
Yes. Actions do speak louder than words. I do not claim to have all the answers, and I am deeply troubled by this election, the outcome and the response. I sincerely hope that America can survive and overcome the deep hurt and hatred that have surfaced. I will do my best to help us heal and get on with the work.
Protest is our right here in America. But to be effective, and to keep people as safe as possible, there are some steps which should be taken. Here are sage words of advice from Robert Reich about that (I am sharing the content of his post here):
Here's the First 100 Day resistance plan [with thanks to Alan Webber]:
1. Get Democrats in the Congress and across the country to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Prolong the process of approving choices, draw out hearings, stand up as sanctuary cities and states. Take a stand. Call your senator and your representative (phone calls are always better than writing).
2. March and demonstrate—in a coordinated, well-managed way. The "1 Million Women March" is already scheduled for the Inauguration —and will be executed with real skill. There will be “sister” marches around the country—in LA and elsewhere. They need to be coordinated and orchestrated. And then? 1 Million Muslims? 1 Million Latinos? What would keep the momentum alive and keep the message going?
3. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands. See:…/136239…/grabyourwallet-trump-boycott
4. Letters to Editors: A national letter-writing campaign, from people all over the country, every walk of life and every level of society, from celebrities to sports heroes to grassroots Americans. In most papers, the Letters to the Editor section is the most-read part of the paper.
5. Op-Eds: A steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives, from name-brand thinkers and doers to ordinary folk writing for their city’s or community’s newspaper.
6. Social media: What about a new YouTube channel devoted to video testimonials about resisting Trump’s First 100 Day Agenda? Crowd-sourced ideas, themes and memes. Who wants to start it?
7. Website containing up-to-date daily bulletins on what actions people are planning around the country, and where, so others can join in. Techies, get organized.
8. Investigative journalism: We need investigative journalists to dig into the backgrounds of all of Trump’s appointees, in the White House, the Cabinet, Ambassadors and judges.
9. Lawsuits: Our version of “Drill, baby, drill” is “Sue, baby, sue.” Throw sand in the gears. Lawyers, get organized.
10. Coordinated fund-raising: Rather than having every public-interest group appeal on their own, have a coordinated fundraising program to fill the coffers of the most endangered and effective opposition groups. Is there a way to do a televised fundraiser with celebrities raising money for the Resistance?
11. Symbolic opposition: Safety pins are already appearing. What else? What more? Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, a label pin, a branding campaign that has great language, great logo, great wrist band (remember the Lance Armstrong “Livestrong” yellow wrist band—it sold millions!).
12. Intellectual opposition: Take Trump on where he’s weakest—with serious ideas. I'll try to do my part. You do yours, too.
13. Serious accountability: Establish performance metrics to evaluate his delivery on his campaign promises. An updated web site of promises made and not kept. This is one especially suited to public policy students.
14. Your idea goes here. Call a meeting of family and friends this weekend. Come up with to-dos.
The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda. We’re not going away.
What do you think?
NPR reporters and editors add context to the legislation and other proposals that the president-elect said he wants to introduce in his first 100 days in office.