Undoubtedly, it’s no longer an option to stay uninvolved in today’s America. There are no excuses for avoiding a talk on politics with your friends or skip images from terrorism in Charlottesville. Hate is multiplying and the fight against it is just getting started.
While the flame of racism and bigotry never went off, the election of Donald trump certainly burst it into multiple cross-shaped fires that burn across the United States. The number of hate groups in the United States rose over the election season and have continued to make their mark since the inauguration of Donald Trump in January. There are 918 hate organizations that range from anti-Muslim groups to Ku Klux Klan chapters, a 17 percent increase since 2014, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
This was exemplified earlier this month when “alt-right” groups came into the campus of the University of Virginia, tiki torches burning, and ready to show they are more than just a myth. We all know by now the weekend ended in tragedy when a man crashed his car into a crowd of protesters killing one woman. (If you haven’t watched the Vice News Tonight segment on Charlottesville, do it now!)
Seven months in, this administration has proven it lacks the courage to condemn hate and bigotry by its name. And so, it’s up to us to do so. Below Monica Joy, a member of the Party for Social Liberation, lists three ways to fight back.
Educate. This entire election cycle/new presidency has obviously been a whirlwind for everyone, and many people are new to paying this close attention to politics. It’s important that we do our research to really understand what’s going on and to spread this information. Words like “socialism” “fascism” and “alt-right” were some of the most googled terms during the election cycle and it’s important that we understand the current political trends and their roots.
Agitate. In my experience, it makes a big impact to talk about politics to the people around you when you are comfortable enough to do so. I’ve gained a lot and have had many people tell they’ve gained a lot as well from me talking about politics often on social media, in the classroom, with family, in private conversations, etc. These past few months have taught us a lot, and it’s important that we continue to grow and build with each other. Not everyone will be on the same page, we all started somewhere, but when we learn and struggle together, the movement gets stronger.
Organize. Join a grassroots organization that is doing the ground work to fight back against the Trump administration and any injustices generally. Whether it be through your time, donations or resources, we must all be contributing to the movement in some way. There is only so much we can do as individuals and being part of a collective is what really brings change. As history has shown us, progress only comes from the ground up through mass social movements.
It’s our duty to fight for our freedom as our ancestors fought for us. History shows us that when we unite and fight back, we win!