social unrest, self-defense, and solidarity

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Chris Hedges laments the fact that our situation is worse than you think:

Widespread social unrest will ignite when Donald Trump's base realizes it has been betrayed. I do not know when this will happen. But that it will happen is certain.

"We face the most profound crisis in human history," his jeremiad continues:

Our response is to elect a man to the presidency who does not believe in climate change. Once societies unplug themselves from reality, those who speak truth become pariahs and enemies of the state. They are subject to severe state repression. Those lost in the reverie of the crisis cult applaud the elimination of these Cassandras. The appealing myths of magical thinking are pleasant opiates. But this narcotic, like all narcotics, leads to squalor and death.

Dara Linddara observes that fear is a totally rational reaction, as many of us "woke up terrified this morning:"

They'll wake up afraid tomorrow, and the day after that, and every day of the newly elected Donald Trump administration. [...]

For perhaps millions of immigrants, Muslims, and people of color in this country, their fear is rooted in the way Donald Trump has run his campaign for the last 18 months -- and 200 years of American history. To these people, optimism is nothing more than denial.

The people who woke up afraid today have been the ones warning, unheeded, that Donald Trump's campaign was not a thought experiment. Now, they are under direct threat from his presidency. And very little that Trump has said or done as a candidate renders those fears anything less than deeply rational.

"The word that defined Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency, to me and many others," she continues, "was this: emboldened:"

White supremacist organizations are rejuvenated. People feel less constrained by "political correctness" to speak their minds about the problems with society -- even to the point, occasionally, of confronting strangers. A generation of children of color is being bullied by threats that the president-elect will send them back -- the policy's appropriation into everyday life is nearly as chilling as the policy itself. [...]

It is not on people who are under threat by Donald Trump's presidency -- under threat by the America that he was elected by promising -- to put their fears aside. It's absurd to ask them to forget everything they've seen that others have ignored.

NYRB's Elizabeth Drew discusses how the Trump victory happened, and notes that "some national polls got it essentially right:"

As some predicted, Clinton won the popular vote but not by an overwhelming number--by the latest count she won 400,000 more votes than Trump, who got fewer votes than either Mitt Romney or John McCain. [...]

"Trump won Wisconsin by fewer than 30,000 votes" [and] "In Pennsylvania, Trump beat Clinton by a mere 67,902 votes... And in Wisconsin, the result was 47.9 to 46.9 in Trump's favor"

His lying helped, but so did Clinton's weakness among women:

According to the website FiveThirtyEight, just 34 percent of women lacking a college education voted for Clinton, as opposed to 62 percent for Trump; whereas Clinton won 51 percent of college educated women, while Trump got 45 percent of them. That Clinton's gender gave her no particular advantage among women doomed the prospect of our "first female president." According to political scientist Michael Kesler, writing in The Washington Post, her 12 point margin among female voters was about the same as Obama's in 2008 and 2012.

David Pierson points to Facebook's fake news as part of the problem, despite protestations from their CEO:

"The idea that fake news on Facebook ... influenced the election in any way I think is a pretty crazy idea," [Marl] Zuckerberg said.

"I do think," he continued, "there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news."

Despite this deflection, Facebook deserves some blame:

The staggering election-related activity on Facebook comes at a time when the social network has been littered with thousands of fake stories with headlines like "FBI AGENT SUSPECTED IN HILLARY EMAIL LEAKS FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE" from fake news organizations with reputable-sounding names such as the Denver Guardian.

On a personal front, Micah Lee suggests surveillance self-defense as an important activity:

On Tuesday, Americans handed the U.S. presidency to a racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, climate-science-denying, misogynistic, revenge-obsessed ego-maniac -- and with it control over a vast and all-too-unaccountable intelligence apparatus... [...]

With Trump eager to misuse his power and get revenge on his perceived enemies, it's reasonable to conclude there will be a parallel increase in abuse of power in law enforcement and the intelligence community. Activists who put their bodies on the line trying to protect basic rights -- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, civil rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, privacy rights -- will face the brunt of it.

He lists "some first steps that activists and other concerned citizens should take"--it's well worth checking out.

On an interpersonal level, wear those safety pins to show your solidarity. What began as a post-Brexit movement is now demonstrating "solidarity with those who might be denigrated or made afraid in a post-election America:"


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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on November 12, 2016 2:43 PM.

capital, neurobiological and economic was the previous entry in this blog.

taboo and tolerance is the next entry in this blog.

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