He was referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa, gauging by his response to Puerto Rican relief, I am guessing that they belong in the group as well. My take away from this is that we are dangerously close to accepting this kind of language and action as acceptable. What do we do?We Need to Be Astonished & Now We Need to Act: CALL TO ACTION!
He represents the United State whether we like it or not. A recent blog chronicled the growing evidence that Trump is mentally unstable when he went into a twitter fit about whose nuclear button is bigger than whose. No doubt his tweets do reveal a narcissist who feeds on praise (“never in the history of China has someone been welcomed so lavishly”) and can’t tolerate dissent or independence (railing against the recent Appeals Court decision to overturn his decertification of DACA and bridling at the independence of the FBI). He should run it all, never mind the checks and balances of a three branches of government. According to Trump, we should just have Trumperment.
Well this most recent comment about shithole countries is over the top; it is entirely unacceptable and warrants a response. But a petition to Trump or to anyone seems pointless. What concerns me is that we are getting inured to the insanity of this administration. Puerto Rico is past six months since Maria shredded the country. Our response: the tax bill punished Puerto Rico; the US relief effort has been an unmitigated disaster with half the country still without power and limited access to healthcare and basic necessities. We should be besieging our government over just this. But the list is enormous: the tax bill, North Korea, withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in relief from Palestine, Jerusalem, DACA, deportations, and “there are good people on both sides” (civil rights advocates and Nazis), and now brown/black countries labelled as shitholes. It is literally endless. And yet, there has been no astonished outrage, no call for a general strike, no massive show of opposition. Any one of these offenses to our moral sensibilities ought to be enough to trigger a massive response. But the outrages come so often now, we laugh and turn the page. WE CAN’T CONTINUE TO ACCEPT THIS.
Thank you Bill Ayers: Back in Dec, 2016, I wrote a blog about new years resolutions, click here to read it. In it i quoted my friend and fellow activist, Bill Ayers, whose book, Demand the Impossible, I had just read. From the blog: “Ayers also lays out four steps for becoming an effective activist, the first being to pay attention. “‘That can be excruciating because the world is difficult sometimes to look at. But you have to open your eyes, not once and you’ve got it all figured out, but every day.'” The second step is to be continuously astonished, and he cites as an example how we can become accustomed to and subtly accept horrors like homeless children or police violence against unarmed black men. It is important that we remain offended by these injustices and take care against being numbed by them. The third step is to act, and the fourth is to doubt and rethink your certainties. “That to me is what activists have to do. That means you’re always in the posture of being a learner and you’re always in the posture of trying to live your values — not just have them in the secrecy of your own apartment, but display them in the public square.”
The blog continues: “Ayers’ insistence that our activism be conducted publicly is important as it points to the insufficiency of just donating money to causes so that others can act for you or in signing anonymous online petitions. And Ayers points to the necessity that our activism must be part of a daily habit and not be comprised of attending a march every other week or going to a Town Hall meeting.”
Reverend Barber’s Call to Action
For some time I have been seeing clearly that we need to launch civil disobedience on a national scale. Until now, I didn’t know how little old Retake Our Democracy could do this. We simply do not have the necessary national profile. But fortunately Retake is part of a Statewide Core Committee that is launching the New Mexico chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign. The good news is that you do not have to wait for the campaign’s national kick off on May 13 with 40 days of daily civil disobedience in 26 states. The NM Poor People’s Campaign is kicking things off this Sunday (below). The Poor People’s Campaign is a moral movement, an appropriate framework for expressing our outrage with the moral and ethical offenses of our government. While the civil disobedience begins on May 13, planning in New Mexico has begun. The Core Committee is meeting for half a day retreat this Sunday to outline a structure and strategy to align with and support the national Poor People’s Campaign. What’s more on this Sunday from 4:30-6:30pm at Nahalat Shalom 3606 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107 NM Poor People’s Campaign is kicking of our statewide campaign. There will be speakers, music, a panel discussion and discussion of state strategy and you will leave with an idea of what is to come. Click here to RSVP.
If you can’t get to the kick-off on Sunday, click here to sign up for the national campaign. We will get your contact information and keep you informed of future actions. If you are distant from ABQ and would like to kick off a Poor People’s Campaign chapter in your community just write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll support your efforts.
Bottom line: All of us are offended; all of us are champing at the bit to respond, to demonstrate, to show your outrage. it is time to step forward. Our time is now and you are the people we’ve been waiting for.
Paul & Roxanne