8 New Year’s Resolutions For Radical Resistance
A progressive’s guide to fucking shit up in 2018
Pssstt… Progressives, Liberals, and would-be allies: I know you’re busy crafting tweets, signing petitions, and sharing anti-Trump memes… but do you wanna know the best way to ring in the new year? By dismantling oppression!
Here are 8 New Year’s resolutions for truly radical resistance.
Editor’s Note: Medium said I had to edit this post so it doesn’t advocate theft or violence. So definitely “don’t" do these things.
1) “DON’T” STEAL STUFF.
Before this gets taken out of context, I want to clarify that by “steal stuff” I mean “take things that don’t belong to you without paying for them.” Especially from rich people, corporations, or government institutions. We’re not going to subvert Capitalism by stealing from marginalized folks, and it doesn’t make sense to rob people who don’t have much to begin with. History has proven that nothing disrupts the State like the forceful redistribution of wealth and property. So make sure this is on your to-do list for 2018!
As extra credit for white people, use your privilege to “not” loot and plunder anything you can get your milky hands on, and then redistribute it as reparations to the Black community.
2) CHECK YO’ SELF, FOOL (aka SELF-ACCOUNTABILITY).
You ever say a word so many times it starts to sound like gibberish? That’s how I feel about the term “accountability.” We have six more months before it becomes as meaningless as the phrase “Democratic Socialist.” So first and foremost, learn what accountability means before trying it out.
Now, I’ve noticed that in our quest for accountability we usually start with everyone but ourselves. TERFs point the finger at patriarchal men. Patriarchal men point the finger at white supremacists. White supremacists point the finger at child molesters. And child molesters run for office in Alabama. It’s a never-ending cycle of passing the buck. Before you fix your lips to demand someone else be accountable, make sure you’re also doing the work to hold yourself accountable. Otherwise you’re just blowing hot air.
Accountability doesn’t work if it’s selective. Accountability doesn’t work if we only demand it of people we dislike. Accountability doesn’t work if we’re not accountable to ourselves as individuals, or if the collective (community) is only accountable to itself. Be honest about who you’ve harmed in the past, and who you’re harming now. Then apologize and do what you have to do to fix it. This almost always means losing something. Whether it’s respect, influence, your platform, or resources. Being accountable will likely be uncomfortable, but that’s required for all growth.
So do the work. We will never have a society that’s fair and just without self-accountability.
3) GIVE BLACK WOMEN & FEMMES ALL YOUR MONEY.
No surprise here folks. Buy somebody groceries. Pay somebody’s rent. Hire a Black woman in management, especially since Black women keep saving your asses. Add a Black mom to your phone’s family plan. If you’re broke, find some other privilege you’ve got and share that. Got a car? Help provide transportation to a Black family. Got a spare room? Let a Black woman crash. Got 6 hours? Offer to babysit. Got Netflix? Give me your password? Got a rich uncle? "O.J.” him and use the inheritance to bail 1000 Black women out of jail. Just do something! We need to focus on the most marginalized if we ever plan to get free, and that means focusing on Black women and femmes. Period. (If you’re looking for a resource of Black women and femmes who need support, follow the #DoneForDiDi Facebook group.)
4) COMMIT YOURSELF TO HATING COPS (AND TROOPS) MORE.
However much you hate the police, double it. Then double it again. Stop praising cops altogether. Stop sharing feel-good cop stories and photos. Stop calling the police on people of color. Stop pretending cops are here to help. They’re not. And when the Revolution comes (you know, the Revolution we pretend to want) it will be the cops and military beating our asses in the streets like they beat Black and Brown folks every day. Fuck the police, and fuck the troops. We’ve been brainwashed since birth to think that’s blasphemy. It’s not. This is about the oppressive institutions comprising our military and law enforcement. This isn’t about individual cops and soldiers — who are often just exploited kids fresh out of high school — but, yeah, fuck them too.
5) “DON’T" RIOT, MAYBE.
We don’t need more petitions; we don’t need more folks calling our representatives. There’s a place for that in the Revolution, but that’s not what’s going to save us. “The whole damn system is guilty as hell,” remember? We need people who are willing to disrupt the system to bring about justice. And we need to do that by ANY means necessary, not just with the tools they permit us to have. Let go of the notion that there are “bad” ways to resist oppression.
We can’t reform this system because the system is working exactly as it was designed. If we truly want to bring about change, we have to look beyond reform and be willing to “not” burn it all down.
6) ABANDON YOUR LEADERS.
Fuck Bernie Sanders. Fuck Hillary Clinton. Fuck Barack Obama. Fuck white feminism. Fuck Liberalism. Fuck hotep-ism. Follow the leadership of the most marginalized. Listen to everybody you think you’re better than: Fat, Black, poor, disabled, trans, queer, sex working, homeless and/or incarcerated, femmes who listen to trap music and enjoy candy corn unironically. They’re your leaders now. Embrace them.
7) STOP VOTING.
I vote with the same urgency that I fold my laundry. If I have something more important to do — and that includes binge watching She’s Gotta Have It — I’ll put it off indefinitely. “But DiDi! People DIED so you could have the right to vote!” Don’t try and shame me into investing in a popularity contest for old white men.
The concept of voting carries WAY too much weight in our society. We see voting as the height of civic engagement, when in reality it’s the bare minimum. Voting just isn’t as important as we want to believe.
If Trump had lost the last election, yes, less people would be vulnerable to the current administration’s Nazi clusterfuck. But having a Democrat (or even a radical) in office won’t stop trans women from being murdered. It won’t stop police from killing Black people. It won’t stop income inequality from growing exponentially, drones from falling, or prisons from being packed to capacity. Frankly, the “lesser” evil isn’t “lesser” enough.
We need systems in place that will protect marginalized people NO MATTER WHO is in office. Our humanity should not be up for a vote. My existence is not validated by a bi-annual show-of-hands. And when we pretend voting is the be-all and end-all of resistance, we allow actual acts of resistance to take a back seat.
So if you wanna vote, go ahead. Post your little stickers on Facebook. Check-in at your polling station. Make sure your friends are registered. Just know that it doesn’t actually help people the way you think it does. And if you have to choose between performing an act of service in your community or casting a ballot, you’d better have your priorities in order.
8) DON’T LISTEN TO ME.
If I’m the only voice you’re listening to, you’re not getting the full range of the Black femme experience. Try listening to other people. Listen to the Black folks who try to “expose” me on Twitter. Listen to Black women who try to come for me on Facebook. Listen to Black people who disagree with each other. Listen to trans folks who argue. There’s this weird phenomenon among those striving to be allies, where we’ll find one figurehead and follow them rabidly. I met a white woman the other day who said her sole source for racial justice information was Shaun King — a straight, cisgender, able-bodied, translucent man with a pencil mustache and bifocals. We have to do better y’all.
How come a white person will sprain their ankle and visit two doctors and a specialist to get a second and third opinion, but when it comes to Black lives y’all can’t handle more than one? DIVERSIFY! Black people are not a monolith, and I certainly don’t speak for all of us. So don’t follow me if you’re not also following other radical Black voices.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Donations & reparations to the author welcome, but only if you got it like that.