Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice

Moving from Actor –> Ally –> Accomplice

First Thursday Discussion Group #1

first-thursday-logoI ran across this guy on Facebook and thought he had a great answer for all the people whom I have heard ask “What can we do?”

I have been to many rallies and meetings at the end of which no one knows what they can do. Here is a list that I am starting with our First Thursday Discussion Group here in Spokane.  What I want us to do is break into small groups and for each group to come to a consensus on something that those sitting around the coffee table can do and are willing to do. I am asking them to record that consensus in a comment to this post 4comculture.com so we can develop a list of actions people are taking.

Originally posted on Facebook November 22, 2016 by Prof. Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University

Republished at Reddit.com:  https://m.reddit.com/r/lostgeneration/comments/5faksb/historian_holocaustthird_reich_expert_and_yale/?ref=search_posts

1st-thur-1Professor Snyder’s homepage:  http://history.yale.edu/people/timothy-snyder

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1.  Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2.  Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3.  Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4.  When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5.  Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6.  Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7.  Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8.  Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9.  Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10.  Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11.  Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12.  Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13.  Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14.  Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15.  Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16.  Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17.  Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18.  Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19.  Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20.  Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.”

Life After Trump Starts January 1,

THURSDAY December 1st bring ideas for the life after DONALD. Drop in ANY coffee house and start A  DISCUSSION don’t wait on me! I am with Jay, Ron, Idris and Jim will be having are usual Thursday discussions at 10am the same place on the Spokane South Hill. We can make changes one cup at a time. Report back after you meeting. (Message me Robert Lloyd on Facebook for my coffee spot)

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PJALS Anti-Hate Rally Spokane WA

Salem Lutheran Church November 17, 2016

North Carolina NAACP President Speaks

20160726_007639Hit this link to see the speech:     http://abc11.com/politics/nc-naacp-president-gives-rousing-speech-at-dnc/1448219/

After hearing this rousing speech by the Rev. William Barber you should contribute to the election of the candidate that supports your principles and beliefs. You should knock on doors. You should register to vote. You should encourage your friends to register to vote. You should get your churches involved. And above all you should remember to vote!  In this election there is no place for protest votes. Vote BLUE!

 

The 2016 Democratic National Convention

20160726_007765 BW COVERLiving in the Inland Empire of the Pacific Northwest we hear President Obama talk about hope and we see glimpses through the national media and online communications that a change is coming but it has not yet hit our corner of the northwest. The Democratic Party, progressives, the Socialist Alternative and churches have little to show in the way of diversity other than tokenism.  Seeing the Republican Party’s convention and their choice of Donald Trump as presidential candidate makes one lose hope in the future of America.

The 2016 Democratic Convention showed what democracy can be when color is added. Taking these pictures inspired this visual communicator and I hope looking at them will inspire you too.

 

 

Follow How I See It: the 2016 Presidential Election. Visit the page to view more pictures and share your responses.

I dedicate these images to Anderson Stoakley Lloyd, my 8 year old grandson.  I want to thank Diane Lloyd, my wife, my support and technical assistant; Sandy Williams and the Black Lens News; Pastor Percy Happy Watkins and New Hope Baptist Church; and Philadelphia cousins Ramona Rousseau-Reid and Joseph Reid.