Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Memories of Another Election Three Years Ago- And My Game Plan for Resisting the Trump Presidency

As I woke up this morning, I had vivid memories of this time three years ago when the country woke up to learn that Donald Trump had been elected President
The impact at Fordham, in particular, stood out in my mind. In the days following the election,white nationalist flyers were posted all over the University and the students in my 8:30 Affirmative Action Seminar, which met that Friday, were frightened and traumatized. Some were silent, some were weeping openly, terrified that Trump's election meant that they and their families would be under attack, either directly from the government, or indirectly from Trump's White Supremacist followers emboldened to take action against immigrants and people of color.
Worst of all, they felt unsafe at Fordham, so I felt I had to do something, I pulled together a multi racial group of alumni I knew to create a "Rapid Response Unit to Bias Attacks" that
any Fordham student could call if they felt in danger of being attacked. I posted a picture of the group, and some contact numbers and my students felt reassured. Unfortunately, our unit upset some people in Student Affairs who insisted that they had a rapid response unit of their own, but the point had been made. There was a dangerous climate in the nation that people needed to address and come together to protect their more vulnerable neighbors
In the days and weeks that followed, I developed a "game plan" to survive the Trump Presidency. Because I had developed a national network of friends through my education activism, particularly the creation of the Badass Teachers Association, I decided to concentrate on building local networks to resist racists and white supremacists through information gathering and direct action. For more than two years, that activity was informal, largely conducted through private communications with people who asked for my help, but in the last two months, it resulted in the creation of a new national organization- NARA-The National Anti Racism Alliance which would challenge white supremacists in small towns and rural areas, as well as on college campuses, where they thought they were safe to spread their poison.
I am happy I made the choice I did. There are many people around the country, some in the Republican Party, some even in high positions within the Administration, who have tried to keep Donald Trump from destroying our political system and plunging the nation into civil war. My concentration was on the people emboldened by his pronouncements to attack their neighbors.
And that remains my focus today, helped by thousands of people who refuse to let their communities be terrorized by those filled with hate in their hearts

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