Growing up poor in a small Wisconsin town, I had a hard time recognizing my white privilege. I know intimately the experience of not having money or things that other kids have. It was always clear to me we were poor - and harder to recognize the comfort and safety I got from being white. I was also not someone who followed politics, I rarely took a stance on anything, and I tended to follow the rules.
Then Trump came to my community. Trump is working hard to exploit divisions between poor and working class white people and communities of color. He is creating breeding grounds for hate, allowing more people to feel comfortable acting out our racism. As a queer woman in an interracial relationship, Trump’s hate is targeting me and my loved ones. The possibility of a Trump presidency terrifies me.
In March, I was one of six activists with SURJ Action group, Groundwork, who did a locked sit-in at a Trump rally venue. We demanded they cancel the event to prevent the violence, racism, and hate that Trump incites with him everywhere he goes.
As I’ve learned more about racism, I’ve come to realize that I have a responsibility to put myself and my body on the line for racial justice. I need to make myself uncomfortable – whether it’s through direct action or conversations with other white people – because people of color have to live with the discomfort of racism everyday. To stay within my comfort zone would be staying in my whiteness and this is not how I want to live.
Some people thought Trump had no chance at winning. It was said that he would just go away if we ignored him. Now that Donald Trump is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, it’s time to deepen our commitment and strategies to stop him and the racism and classism he incites.
SURJ Action members across the country have been moving out of their comfort zone to stop Trump and his movement. But SURJ hasn’t been able to provide all of the support that chapters and affiliates need because of restrictions that come with being a 501(c)(3). SURJ Action has been formed to further our racial justice goals by responding strategically in this political moment as a 501(c)(4) organization.
As part of SURJ Actions’ commitment to people of color-led organizing, we ask all donors (that’s me and you!) to give an equal or greater gift to a people of color-led organization. If you want a suggestion, check out this list.
Contributions to SURJ Action are not tax-deductible; they support our 501(c)(4) political, advocacy and lobbying efforts.
Thank you for joining me in action,
P.S. Are you willing to act? We are raising $30,000 to seed our campaign to stop Donald Trump and the racism he incites. Will you help us reach our goal by donating today?