It’s the Friday before Christmas, and… this is where we are, basically:
- Yeah, Trump still hasn’t moved beyond “if we have nuclear weapons, why shouldn’t we use them?” Max Fisher clarifies the tweet (ugh) that set it all off this morning for the New York Times.
- Trump’s inauguration is basically turning into a talent blackout — no one of note is willing to associate with him or celebrate him. Which is what makes it cool that the union representing the Rockettes is forcing them to perform.
- North Carolina just earned a 58/100 score from the Electoral Integrity Project, putting it somewhere in the neighborhood of “authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone,” according to the report’s creator. Pair with Atlanta artist Cory Thomas’ comic “The weirdness of being black in white spaces after the election.”
- There’s never been a better time (other than the past) for media literacy, and the Establishment breaks down your 2017 guide to overthrowing the media. Complements 99 Ways to Fight Trump and the Indivisible guide, now available in a nice/easy-to-follow PDF.
- Finally, just unrelated and interesting and engrossing and affecting, “Before We Were Good White” by Jennifer Niesslein for Full Grown People, about family history, poverty and class in America. Also, an unsolved murder amid Prohibition-era bootlegging.
Stay brave, friends. And as we go into the weekend (and the holiday, for all you celebrants out there):
I’m having trouble pitching. Nothing feels important unless it’s about the election, and I’m already drowning in post-election activism and thinkpieces and horror stories and grief and obituaries of journalists we really needed. (Rest in power, Gwen Ifill.) I’m glued to Twitter and Facebook, I’m frantically spending too much time retweeting advice and interpretations and warnings, I’m scrounging up funds for recurring donations and subscriptions. It feels like doing absolutely nothing and too much all at the same time. Meanwhile:
Let’s just get right into it.
- Much has been made of the fact that Teen Vogue has turned out to be a braver publication than every TV news network and a number of major papers. In a similar vein, Cosmopolitan‘s “Saturday Night Live’s ‘Hallelujah’ Opening Was a Bunch of B.S.” is a must-read about enablement.
- I can’t emphasize this enough: A hideous antisemite is about to hold the same White House position that Karl Rove did. Here’s what antisemitism taught all those other -isms. We’ve seen all these tactics before. Don’t leave us out of your activism either.
- We’re in a place where we all need to think hard about protecting ourselves from surveillance (thanks, Obama). From freeCodeCamp, “How to Encrypt Your Entire Life in Less Than an Hour“; from the Atlantic, “How Can Journalists Protect Themselves During a Trump Administration?“
- Normalization. This is going to be fun.
- Grief: Summer Pierre, in comics. Taffy Brodesser-Akner, “My Plan for Making Peace With President-Elect Trump,” and what wearies women. Amanda Deibert, “Dear Trump Supporter Who Say They Love Me.” The wonderful Rebecca Traister, “Shattered.” Ezra Klein, “The hard question isn’t why Clinton lost — it’s why Trump won.” Kari Holloway, “Stop Asking Me to Empathize With the White Working Class.” (More on that, from before the election.)
- Damon Winter followed the Trump campaign for a year and a half, trying to capture something about the candidate’s soul in photographs. Turns out there’s just no “there” there. Pair with “My Father, Donald Trump.”
- Trump has shown us who he is time and time and time and time and time and time again. One essential piece I don’t want anyone to miss: “How the Trumps tried — and failed — to keep black families like mine out of their neighborhood,” by Michelle Garcia.
- Journalists, myself included, like to talk about how much democracy rests on our shoulders. It’s self-aggrandizing, yes. Thing is, we’re not always wrong. Asha Dornfest’s “This is what happens when we stop paying for quality journalism” lays out the case for paying for local reporting pretty clearly. I have yet to watch John Oliver’s latest, but I’m sure he’ll back that up. The one that will straighten all our spines, however, is from Dan Gillmor: “Trump, free speech and why journalists must be activists.”
- For the activists, which should mean all of us now, some threads: on gaslighting, which is what the Trump administration and its supporters are doing left and right; on purity politics within the progressive movement, and how to get past it; how to talk to your racist family members; on who to contact in the government (hint: representative democracy means don’t waste your time with people who don’t actually represent you); how congressional staffers take your calls.
Good luck out there.
Image Credit: Steve Helber/AP. “Graffiti is seen on the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 10, 2016.”