The Butt-Eye Book: Liberal Endurance and Resistance in the Face of Fascism

I have been trying to figure out how to say this for most of a month: yes, the next two to four years are going to be a hard fight. Yes, they’re going to suck and it’s going to suck most for the people with the fewest resources. I’m sorry about that. I wish I had a better answer, but all I can do is put my personal body in the civil disobedience ranks and get myself arrested or be on the bail team. I can only be right beside those who need help most. I am an accomplice. We’re in this together. I have some tools, gained in more than thirty years of resistance and activism. I can offer a path forward. It’s up to you to take it.

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Part V: Resistance, Rebellion, Radicalism

I’ve used a lot of combative words – fight, struggle, accomplice, engage, resist.

There are two opposing schools of thought in activism: That only nonviolent resistance works in the long-term, and that non-violence is nothing but bougie wheel spinning while actual people suffer. I don’t disagree with either position, and they’re both right and wrong. Read more

Part VI: Where do we go from here?

As of today, the Electoral College has voted. Our clock is ticking, and it is virtually certain that there will be an inauguration on January 20 of someone who is completely unqualified and actively destructive.

Okay. This is happening. Denial is not going to help.

If you’re not done grieving, you need to work on that. If you don’t know what’s most important to you, you must think about it now. If your income, shelter, source of calories or meds is insecure, that’s your priority right now. If you don’t have your own self-care plan built and you’re not starting to implement it, you need to work on it now and start using it.

Are you angry? Good. We have a lot to be angry about. But we cannot let that anger consume us or turn inward. Focus it. Use it to motivate yourself to keep moving. Read more

Part II: The Radical Notion of Self-Care as Resistance

Early second-wave feminism coined the term self-care, to combat the idea that women who looked after their own needs were selfish. Self-care has a lot of short-hand phrases: you must put the oxygen mask on your own face before you can help someone else. You can’t put out a fire if you’re on fire. Don’t Be a Casualty. Attend the beam in your own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s eye.

What any opposition wants is for the other side to go away. Whether they die or get bored or get demoralized or disengage — the opposition doesn’t care as long as we shut up and stop being noisy. The easiest way to make activists shut up is to exhaust them. Read more

Part IV: Resistance

What’s the point? The Twitting Mendacity is going to put us all in concentration camps anyway…

Then what the hell are you waiting for? If it’s going to happen, make a difference while you can. If you’re going to hang for stealing a lamb, take the whole damn flock. And if you make the difference, there’s a good chance it won’t happen. Read more

Part III: I’m Going To The Meeting!

Take a quick poll of the progressives in your life: What are they doing to be progressive? If they’re typical, then their list looks a lot like this:

  • I’m registered to vote.
  • I vote in most elections, even if I don’t fully know what I’m voting for or about.
  • I throw a little money at a cause once in a while.
  • I tweet.
  • I sometimes argue on the Internet.
  • I like progressive posts on Facebook.
  • I sign online petitions.

Oh, boy. And this, right here, is why progressivism needs activists. This is pretty much the bare minimum of action anyone can take.
What’s missing in that list?

  • I attend City Council meetings.
  • I attend School Board meetings.
  • I attend Parent-Teacher Association meetings.
  • I attend my Congressional Representative’s town halls.
  • I show up for protests.
  • I show up for work sessions.
  • I do cooperative work with activist organizations. Read more