Fight This Hate: A Weekly Roundup

Fight this Hate shows a small selection of hate crimes and/or harassment that has taken place recently in the United States. Southern Poverty Law Center keeps detailed accounts of hate crimes. Colorlines tracks all manner of topics related to race and publishes them daily. The following incidents are only a small sample, and each includes a form of direct action.


Government Programs under Siege

President Trump’s proposed budget is replete with slashes to government programs we have come to believe are fundamental. He wants to cut billions to vital agencies in order to boost the military and to build his “beautiful” wall between the United States and Mexico. Here are some of the many proposed actions:

  • $9 Billion cut from the Department of Education.
  • 3200 Employees cut from the Environmental Protection Agency
  • 19 Agencies to lose their funding, including the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $6 Billion cut from the Department of Health and Human Services which houses the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Medicare and Medicaid.
  • 2% cut in Housing and Urban Development department spending. The proposal would also eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps fund Meals on Wheels.
FIGHT BACK:

First, remember none of these cuts will happen without the approval of Congress. Second, call your members of congress. Even if you live in a blue state with all democratic representatives, call them. Let them know you support them in their resistance. Find your representatives here. I signed up for alerts from each of my senators in order to keep track of how they are voting.

If you haven’t already signed up for Jen Hofmann’s weekly list of what you can do to resist, you can do so here.


Seven Transgender Women Murdered in 2017

Democrats in Congress are asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch an investigation into these hate crimes.

The transgender community is rattled by the number of murders so early in the year. One protest was held in front of Trump Tower in Chicago to bring attention to the problem. The names of the victims were read aloud.

Six of the seven women murdered were women of color, while the seventh woman was a Native American.

Violence against women is a world-wide problem. Women of color and Native American women are murdered at a greater rate than white women. Transgendered women are frequently murdered by strangers, while a greater percentage of cis gendered women are murdered by their partners.

FIGHT BACK:

If you know of, or suspect, violence against anyone, report it. Protect yourself by taking self-defense classes, such as this free class in North Carolina. Support the ACLU, GLAAD, and your local LGBTQ community centers — all of which work to educate, support, and protect.


GOOD NEWS:

The ACLU recently received more than 350,000 online donations totaling $24 million, which is more than six times what it usually raises in one year. Here’s what they are already doing with those funds:

They announced the ACLU joined Y Combinator, an investment firm which provides seed funding and unprecedented access to Silicon Valley advisors. A few weeks later, they created People Power, a new web platform made with the ambitious goal to change the way people take political action across the nation.

For nearly a century, the ALCU has focused its work and attention on legal strategy, including taking legal action against President Trump moments after he took office, and recently filing an ethics complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Now, the social action nonprofit is looking to give some of their power and responsibility back to average citizens.

An early version of the platform launched March 11, with meetups organized around the country. There were 2,300 events in all 50 states. The ACLU claims more than 130,000 people signed up to take part, which exceeded the group’s own internal goal of 1,000 meetings.

Volunteers explained the roll out of People Power as well as a breakdown of nine ordinances set forth by the ACLU and asked attendees to present them to their local officials.

Watch for People Power meeting in your own area.


MORE GOOD NEWS:

In California, where 218,400 people identify as transgender, a non-profit agency called TransCanWork has teamed up with the California Restaurant Association and other groups to create trans-friendly working environments. The program connects transgender people with employers and a state grant pays for the first 60 hours of a new employee’s wages.


Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.

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