Monday, June 18, 2018

What I Am Doing Now

In my Weekend Reading post, I mentioned that I was pulling back from reading all the stories about the humanitarian crisis our government has created on our southern border because I found it made me despondent, and that made it harder for me to fight for change. I got an email from a reader asking me what I was doing to fight for change right now. I used to post my weekly actions to Twitter every Wednesday morning, but since going back to a regular full time job, I haven't been doing that. I have been trying to take action, though.

First of all, I haven't stated why I am so upset by this. I am horrified by this policy, and the administration statements indicating they are using this policy as a bargaining chip to get a wall or stop the diversity lottery in our immigration system are just disgusting. Their statements indicating they hope this will be a deterrent are also disgusting. What we are doing to those children is cruel and inhumane. Whatever you think of their parents' decision to seek asylum, inflicting suffering on children is abhorrent. That they are doing this in my name makes me ashamed.

Beyond the immediate crisis, though, I worry about the path we are on. We have ICE agents who are willing to rip a breastfeeding baby away from his or her mother. We have agents who can make jokes about the sound of crying children who are distraught about being separated from their families. Frankly, I am not sure what these agents will not do at this point. I do not say that lightly. It is terrifying to think about where this path could go, particularly since ICE agents have authority within 100 miles of the border. I live within 100 miles of the border. So do two-thirds of all Americans.

So what am I doing?

I have contacted my Senators and my Representative. All have already spoken out against the policy. Dianne Feinstein has authored legislation to stop it, and Kamala Harris was an early co-sponsor. But I contacted them anyway to add my voice in support of their position.

Next, we will be donating to one of the organizations listed here. I want to donate more than my personal "blow on whatever I want" fund supports, so I need to sit down with my husband and decide who we'll donate to and how much. We'll do that this week.

More generally, I am fighting to make Republicans lose wherever I can. That is much more starkly partisan than I usually am, but I think it is warranted right now. Even 3 of the 4 the Never Trump conservatives interviewed in that article I posted on Friday are hoping that the Democrats will take at least the House. I think it is clear that the Republicans aren't going to provide any check on Trump. If they do, they will be primaried (evidence: Mark Sanford's loss in South Carolina).

I also think it is clear that the Republican party has been captured by its more racist wing. Steve King retweeted an open Nazi sympathizer and not one Republican politician calls him on it. Corey Stewart has won the Republican nomination for Senate in Virginia.

And of course, there is the influence of Stephen Miller on immigration policy.

I think the least painful way we break this fever is to make the Republicans start losing for their support of the policies and their embrace of these people. If we fail to do that, I am genuinely fearful about what it will take to turn things around. So I am focusing my efforts to turn things around at the ballot box.

I continue to write for Postcards to Voters.

I have also decided that every paycheck between now and November, I will pick three congressional races to donate to. I started this week. I looked at the Cook Political Report on competitive races, and this week I decided to donate to Josh Harder (CA-10) and Amy McGrath (KY-6). Both races are listed as toss ups. I also sent money to Beto O'Rourke. He is a bit of a long shot, but he's been very outspoken on the policy to separate children from their families at the border, and gosh, I'd love to see Ted Cruz lose.

My husband and I may also send some more money to Let America Vote, Vote Riders, Mi Familia Vota, or some other organization working to expand and protect voting rights.

So that's what I'm doing to fight back right now. Tell us what you're doing in the comments if you'd like!


  1. My family and I spent an hour and a half at a protest today in the hot southern summer sun. DC2's "Don't be a meanie-head" sign was very popular. (We also let people use our markers to make signs and someone else brought extra poster board. So many people showed up that they ran out of the pre-printed signs.)

    I continue to call my senators every morning. I've given to Raices. I've given to democrats. I've put signs on my lawn for the first time ever. (Other dem signs are popping up on lawns in my neighborhood already as well.) I have a t-shirt for the democrat in one of our state political offices that I wear at least once a week (it's also really good quality and comfy, so I'll probably convert it to a sleeping shirt if he loses). I let people know about events and 5calls and indivisible. I am a voter registrar. I put voter self-registration cards in the student lounge in my department. I remind students that children have no moral hazard and it is not right to punish them for their parents. I'm trying to figure out how on earth to teach public finance this year (first time in 7 years) since my "republicans want a larger pie" thing is no longer true. Democrats want a larger pie. Socialists want it to be more evenly distributed. Republicans just want to hurt people. I voted in the primaries and reminded other people to vote in the primaries (and posted voting info on my door along with my I voted sticker). I have sheets on my door in Spanish about what to do if ICE picks you up. I remind people on our blog about what's going on and what they can do about it.

    The above is overwhelming to me just writing it all out like that. I have never done anything other than vote in previous elections. Maybe if I had, we wouldn't be in this situation today. And even if that wasn't true, I wouldn't be wondering if I could have done more to affect the outcome instead of feeling guilty. If more people do more than they did before, then we have a chance of saving lives and reducing trauma.

    We can all do something, even something little, to stop this horror that is going on. We can call, donate, support. Those poor children.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I stay immersed but your action lists and Nicole and Maggie's are super helpful for focusing my efforts.

    Being in CA too, our senators are already covered but I will also contact them and our local representatives to confirm they need to keep pushing.

    We've donated and will continue to donate to organizations helping the migrants who are being imprisoned and having their families torn apart. I'm putting together cards and care packages for children who are already here at safe houses (as opposed to the horrific detention centers).

    I wish I was able to do more directly for the kids who are being sent all over the country away from their parents.


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