Letter from New York City by Vincent Urban
We’re all watching with disbelief. You might think our American friends will figure this out somehow – given time – and common sense, compassion, and human rights will prevail in the end. But that’s a quite risky wager, given the stakes at play.
If you don’t want to sit idly by, there’s a lot you can do even if you’re not in the US. I hope this list can help you start and find something you want to support that’s dear to your heart.
Support independent institutions with donations:
– ACLU Nationwide (https://www.aclu.org/) helps defend individual rights on court and were the ones winning the first lawsuit against the immigration ban. They need to stack up on lawyers to keep up with what’s happening so they welcome any donations, from wherever you are in the world. Their FB page will also keep you updated on marches and other info on how to get involved.– NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) works to protect the planet and now fights the new administration’s anti-environment agenda with the help of scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates.
– MoveOn.org organizes rallies and helps you find some close to you. On their website (http://front.moveon.org/) you can sign many petitions for topics dear to you.
– Southern Poverty Law Center helps teach tolerance, monitors actions of extremist groups and also fights against them in courts. Help to keep down hate & discrimination.
– Purely symbolic, but with over 4mio signatures a strong one at that. Sign the open letter at Avaaz: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/deartrump/?pv=349&rc=fb
Support journalism/ get subscriptions:
Now more than ever, a strong media landscape is vital. Journalists need to have the ability to fact check thoroughly, investigate and call out wrong-doings. Newspapers struggle to stay independent from sponsors and their agendas as no one’s willing to paying for news anymore. The only viable way I can see to revert this trend is to get subscriptions to Newspapers.
Get yours from whatever outlet you prefer, but obviously, I encourage you to support those who have the numbers & experience to do large-scale investigations like The New York Times or Washington Post.
Sharing and liking articles obviously also helps but at least double check once with another news source and sites like politifact.com and factcheck.org before you do (especially if your source is from a tabloid or Buzzfeed-like news).
This new nationalist movement around the world wants to discredit news organizations by claiming they make up their stories and there’s no such thing as an actual fact. So try to refrain from unknowingly sharing sensational half-truths and thereby encouraging the newspapers to deliver more of that sort.
Also, if you’re a US citizen: write your Congressmen or Senators. Here is a comprehensive list with full contact information and a template on the 4th sheet: Google Doc
Finally, don’t get tired, keep discussing. Talk to your friends and family, let them know that this is important and that there’s something everyone can do even if it’s just symbolic.
However, try to stay out of arguments in comment sections on Facebook etc. unless you really know what you’re doing and that your interlocutor is actually willing to enter a fruitful exchange.
We’ve totally lost common moral ground and it seems the majority of these rambles end up in personal insults which will never change anyone’s opinion and just deepen the divide. At some point, we need to learn again that the other side isn’t evil and try to understand their reasoning to actually offer well formulated, persuasive counter-arguments – but that’s an agenda for another time.
Please let me know if you have any input on this, if there’s anything to add for the list. And thanks for being aware! Comments can be made here or on the MN Facebook page.