Welcome to 2022 (also known as 2020 too).
While the Democratic party (finally) took bold action to put voting rights on the table, Senator Sinema (once again) blocked it by signaling that she would not bypass the filibuster to pass essential legislation. She (and others) are exactly who Dr Martin Luther King Jr warned us about in “A Letter from Birmingham Jail”.
“I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season."
As we go into this holiday weekend and commemorate the legacy of Dr King, let us not honor his memory with words but with action. There can be no celebration without legislation. No reaching across the aisle to stop a coup. No catering to obstructionists to achieve incremental change. We deserve better.
2022 is the year of the Water Tiger, which means it is a year for bold action. The Tiger is known for its power, daring, and ability to change at a grand scale. It is an invitation to play big and take risks for the wellbeing of everyone.
Happy New Year.
Art by @sogayjen
Lani Guinier understood that the old Confederacy never really gave up—not after the Civil War, not after the Voting Rights Act, not ever. Everything you need to know about voting rights from an icon. [click to tweet]
Can randomly selected citizens govern better than elected officials? Reviving the radical idea of getting rid of elections, and instead picking representatives by lottery, as with jury duty. [click to tweet]
‘Self-Care’ isn’t the fix for late-Pandemic malaise. The role of “other-care” in our collective wellbeing and survival. [click to tweet]
The threats to democracy are real. The threats to physical and mental health are real. But despair is not a solution. It only strengthens these Other Big Lies. How to counter despair and other big lies. [click to tweet]
If we are going to survive democracy, we must have voting rights. Since 2021, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting and 440 bills have been introduced in 49 states that would 1) continue the trend of restricting access to mail voting, 2) establish or expand voter ID requirements 3) expand opportunities for voter purges 4) impose criminal penalties for election officials who mail out unsolicited mail ballots or for individuals who assist voters with returning mail ballots (including people with disabilities) and 5) require proof of citizenship to vote. And it’s not just congressional midterms on the line…36 states will be electing a governor in 2022.
We must demand that Congress do their job, end the filibuster and pass The Freedom to Vote and The John Lewis Voting Rights Act now.
But we must also gear up to out-organize the obstructionists so that we can pass the legislation necessary to restore democracy and take care of working families. Re-taking state government and expanding progressive representation is the surest path to get there.
Here we go.
Art by @lcvoters
This coming Martin Luther King Jr. Day let us move beyond what Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice King, calls, “#MLK Lite” and consider What are you doing to become the dream that Martin spoke about? How are you using your voice to spread a message of peace, love and compassion? How are you using your wisdom to educate others about racism and injustice? How are you using your privilege and power to stand up for others? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has left his legacy. What will you do to leave yours?
Here are some quotes that can’t be white-washed:
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
—A Time to Break the Silence: April 4, 1967
“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and racism. The problems of racial injustice and economic injustice cannot be solved without a radical redistribution of political and economic power”.
—King to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) board on March 30, 1967.
“…the price that America must pay for the continued oppression of the Negro and other minority groups is the price of its own destruction.”
—The American Dream: July 4, 1965
“White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.”
—Where Do We Go from Here? 1967
“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn. The reality of substantial investment to assist Negroes into the twentieth century, adjusting to Negro neighbors and genuine school integration, is still a nightmare for all too many white Americans…These are the deepest causes for contemporary abrasions between the races. Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.”
— Where Do We Go From Here: 1967
In other words, don’t post an MLK quote unless you:
Art by @blackwomensrj
“Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses; for instance, it is learning to address each other's difference with respect". Audre Lorde
2022 Intentions: Practice justice everyday.
Art by @imagine_illustrate
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