TakeAction Weekly Digest
Chris and I are back from vacation which means the TakeAction Digest is back. Wow, what a summer. The events that have unfolded in these past several weeks continue to remind us the importance of taking care of one another – we’re in this for the long haul.
What happened in Charlottesville, VA – the violent riots led by white supremacists – left us shocked, angry and unsettled. We know many of you are feeling similar. We want you to know that we will continue to stand, fight for justice, and dream alongside you.
We all must lead in bold and creative ways. The work ahead requires us to name and challenge white supremacy, and to build intentionally with one another with a love so fierce that we make the impossible, possible. We’re up for that challenge.
With that, here’s what we have been reading this week.
1. Grassroots Organizing and White Supremacists
What happened in Charlottesville is not some isolated event. It’s a part of our country’s legacy of racism and white supremacy. This newest iteration of it is using the grassroots organizing strategies we’ve developed. We need to be clear about this to know how to challenge it. Watch this chilling short news documentary by Vice that follows a neo-Nazi who was a key organizer of the violent riots in Charlottesville.
2. Charlottesville and our Democracy
Danielle Allen talks white supremacy, domestic terrorism and calls attention to the need to really ask ourselves – what it will take to form a pluralistic democracy? Read it here.
3. White Parents stepping up
Here’s a take on the role of white parents in the fight against white supremacy by Mike Lee, a local writer and educator.
4. Democracy is still Worth Fighting For
An article by Yascha Mounk, “The rise of Donald Trump is terrifying. But the U.S. remains the world’s best hope for realizing the ideal of a liberal, multiethnic democracy.” Read it here.
5. The Quiet Victory of the Affordable Care Act
60% of Americans now feel it is the government’s obligation to ensure coverage to all citizens. How did we get here? Read it here.
6. A Conversation about Classism in the United States
Does the upper middle class keep everyone else out? Who is part of this class? Listen to the conversation here.
7. Beyonce Meets Brietbart
After the 2016 election, most of us were left grappling with the harsh reality of what led to a Trump Presidency. The influence of social media, storytelling, alternative facts, and what we call narrative, is undeniable. In Minnesota, we have conservative and alt right groups are heavily investing resources in narrative work. Learn more about it in this article written by Arianna Genis, the new Director of Narrative and Cultural Strategy.
8. Hymn: A New Poem by Sherman Alexie
What a better way to close our digest then by a poem filled with tough truths about our times and our capacity to love fiercely. Sherman Alexie, renowned Native author of Washington state, reflects on the violence plaguing our country and reminds us of how valuable it is to write, sing, listen, and march. Take all of it in here.
That’s a wrap. Send us what you’re reading.
— Chris Conry and Arianna Genis