Don’t Get Angry Get Organized

Colin Bird

On Tuesday night the country that I loved ended: It’s 2016 and a undisciplined nationalist demagogue will be our next commander-in-chief.

What the unoppressed and racist electorate of Trump allowed to take place on Tuesday is so shameful and damaging to this country: Hate crimes are up, attacks on muslims are up, immigrants are scared, and school children are scared.

For at least two- to four- years, the entire Federal government is lost to a group of mean spirited people who do not wish for the betterment of this country, or the social wellbeing of those in need. It will be run by a cynical bunch that are obsessed with two things: power and self interest.

A group that obstructed the Obama administration for eight years and demeaned and diminished his leadership at every step of the way. It’s a group that refused to nominate a Supreme Court justice and ignored the law of the land for no other reason than to exercise pure power. And, yet, now we (the left) are supposed to respect the outcome of a system so thoroughly rigged against women, black-, brown-, sexual- and religious- minorities, and all other downtrodden groups.

In his first 100 days, Mr. Trump says he will cancel funding for Sanctuary Cities, start a process to remove 2 million undocumented immigrants, begin the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and beef up funding for dangerous policing tactics.

He will upend protections against our most vulnerable not only through law but also by installing lackeys into key cabinet and administrative positions at agencies and departments whose charted mission is to defend and protect our inalienable rights, to protect consumers, to protect workers, to protect the environment, to protect federal land, to protect indigenous people, to protect minorities and to protect the poor and middle class.

This should frighten and anger you.

Get Organized

Some of my friends broke down in tears as we watched the results Tuesday night, others were in shock, while others grew angry and drunk. By Wednesday morning I was so angry I couldn’t think straight and was mostly paralyzed and exhausted, glued to my computer screen refreshing my trusted media sources to make sure it was not just a hoax.

When the facts were still true, I went to Facebook to spew vitriol and eviscerate even the slightest whiff and conciliation or justification from others regarding the results.

Another interesting thing happened though, many friends far and wide asked me what can they do to change this?

In my City of Chicago I volunteer my time as a community organizer and lead to help the embetterment of my community. I run a nonprofit community organization, I’m on the local school council at my neighborhood school and I’m heavily involved in politics.

For now the country is lost but I ask all of you: get organized. So many of my close friends are social media activists or monday morning quarterback pundits, but I never see them attending or participating in community activities, donating money to political or charitable causes, attending protests, or lectures.

If you think the Trump Era is truly scary YOU MUST do something! The old adage that 80% of life is showing up isn’t really a joke… it’s true. I implore you to get involved in anything civic minded or politically minded as soon as humanly possible.

To that end, I plan to step up my own personal game. A group of like minded professionals (including myself) will be meeting on Monday, November 21st in the afternoon to process this election and talk about potential next steps. I will publish the specific time, location, and agenda, of that meeting as soon as we make it official early next week.

There is so much that can be done in the City of Chicago politically that will in turn help the entire nation, longer term.

With the Clinton era officially over, the Democratic Party is rudderless and a new disciplined group of Progressive leaders must take the reins.

Establishmentarian politics is over. Democrats have had their blinders on for too long when it comes to modern political combat.

There are many policies and directives that Trump and Republicans will enact which, if left unchecked, will have devastating effects on the City of Chicago. The old leaders will not be the ones that steer us out of this darkness, it will be you and I.

Until we take our country back, Illinois and Chicago must become a stalwart sanctuary for women, immigrants, people of color, religious minorities, the poor, and the LGBT community.

There’s a whole lot of red surrounding us and we better make damn well sure our neighbors in need have someplace to come now that their country has put them at risk.

Colin Bird

Written by

Community organizer, technology analyst, politicized and ready to make change. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

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