an almost a-z guide of how to get through trump’s first term
Donald Trump is real and he's not going away. From the films to watch to the hoodies to wear, here's some ways to stay woke.
Throughout the campaign, Trump has consistently been misogynistic, conflated immigrants with rapists, and called for a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the US. And last week, despite having no prior political experience, he was handed the most powerful job in the world. Donald Trump is now a president, not a punchline. Naturally, we panicked. Almost a week later and it's no less terrifying. But, if the world ended every time a bigoted extremist got into power, there would be no world left. So, in the spirit of hope, here's an A to Z of ways to stay sane, be inspired and get involved.
A - Aaron Sorkin's letter
"We'll fucking fight" wrote The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, as the news of Trump's victory slowly started to permeate through a nation in shock. The open letter -- addressed to his wife and 15-year-old daughter -- is a passionate charge to, "do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see it—whether it's writing a check or rolling up our sleeves... We fight for a woman to keep her right to choose. We fight for the First Amendment and we fight mostly for equality."
As Sorkin urges, now is a time to be active. His letter is a call to action. Sound-tracked by Leonard Cohen, we've definitely had a reason to mourn. Now, it's time to think about what's next.
B - Black Lives Matter
The US government has no comprehensive record of the number of people killed by law enforcement. This year it's estimated to be around 900, so far, with a disproportionately high number being BAME. Last year, the number of police officers convicted for murder was zero.
Systemic racism in America isn't a new problem, but with Trump in power, it's hard to imagine it getting any better. He's openly dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement, telling a Fox interviewer, "I think they're trouble. I think they're looking for trouble". In contrast, his support of the police has been unwavering. He's in favour of contentious stop-and-frisk policies - there were 4.4 million stops between January 2004 and June 2012, and 83% of people stopped were black or Hispanic - he's also suggested the death penalty for anyone who kills a police office. That's why it's more important than ever to support organisations like Black Lives Matter. Find a chapter, attend events, donate, report, protest… just be heard.
C - Care
The thing about the US election, was that it was and is impossible to ignore. Whether it's the news, the internet commentariat trading in think pieces, or that meme that explains white privilege through an avocado, we're constantly being reminded that last Tuesday, the world changed irrevocably. All of which is wreaking havoc on a lot of people's well being. So, care for yourself, care for the people around you, and care for those who will be affected the worst by this.
D - Donate
Donald Trump can't actually build a 2000 mile wall and make Mexico pay for it. Nor can he ban all Muslims from entering the US. But, some of his threats do need to be taken more seriously. Such as defunding Planned Parenthood for example -- the organisation has already received 80,000 new donations since Trump's presidency was announced. You can donate here, and, as Amy Schumer points out, you can even do it under the name of Mike Pence, the staunchly anti-abortion Vice President to be.
E- Ethan James Green
Photographer Ethan James' Green images of New York protesters the day after the election are a reminder that people are resilient, and that this isn't the end.
F - Fashion
Kids of Immigrants was set up by Daniel Buezo and Weleh Dennis, two first generation American's who wanted to set up a label that celebrated diversity. With Vetements style hoodies emblazoned with slogans like, 'Support Your Friends', 'Protect Home' and of course, 'Kids of Immigrants', their ingenious collection allows the fashion forward to wear their hearts on their sleeve.
Model and activist Cameron Russell took to Twitter to share an open letter to the fashion industry. "Make sure you (1) HIRE, (2) PAY WELL, and (3) LISTEN to women, to people with disabilities, to non-binary, queer, and LGBT people, to people of colour, and, especially, to women of colour," She encouraged. "Start this process today. Change your casting. Put black and brown people on your covers. Sign them the biggest contracts."
G - Generation Z
Like Brexit, a massive percentage of the Trump vote came from Baby Boomers. Clinton won the millennial vote, but what about those who were still too young to vote? Generation Z are characterised as, "conscientious, hard-working, somewhat anxious and mindful of the future." We only have to look at the amazing, positive work being done by actress-activists Rowan Blanchard, Yara Shahidi and Amandla Stenberg, all under 20, to know old people can't fuck us over forever.
H - Hip hop
Hip hop was born out of struggle. Since the 70s, MCs have embraced a socially conscious state-of-mind. Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy were denouncing systemic racism back in the day, and as we enter the Trump-era America, for every injustice is a rapper prepared to call it out. Last week, A Tribe Called Quest released their final record, a timely protest album, recorded months before the death of founding member, Phife Dawg. Whether it's Chance the Rapper questioning, "Are you ready for a miracle?" Or J Cole asking, "Can you tell me why, everytime I step outside I see my people die?", hip hop is a vital form of representation.
J - Justin Trudeau
A year ago, Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada, and since then, he's had the world's liberals eating out of his palms. This is a guy who gave Canada its most diverse cabinet - 15 men, 15 women (most of whom were under 50). When asked why, he replied, "because it's 2015." He's invested in climate change, once met Syrian refugees at the airport, and has tattoos. If Canada can get JT, its next door neighbour will get another OG president one day.
K - Kamala Harris
Most of last week's news read like a dystopian novel. The rise of the far right, the death of another musical legend and the demise of the Toblerone. But there were also some victories. California made history by electing Kamala Harris as its first black Democratic Senator. A supporter of Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reforms, last night she tweeted, "I intend to fight for common sense gun safety. I have not forgotten the lives lost in San Bernardino or Sandy Hook." The words Harris 2020 have already been spoken.
M - Moonlight
Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama set over three decades. The film follows protagonist Chiron as he struggles with his sexuality, questions definitions of black masculinity and navigates a tumultuous home life. With last year's #OscarsSoWhite, now more than ever, it's crucial that we support work that gives a voice to the voiceless, and strives to tells minority stories. It comes to the UK in January, go see it.
N - Netflix
The hub for awesome programming; from Ava DuVernay's The 13th to Chelsea Handler's tri-weekly TV triumph Chelsea, the liberal American left have a huge platform in Netflix, and they use it so very well.
O - Obama
The legacy of his hugely impressive two terms will live on, from Cuba to Colombia, Obamacare (Trump has started to backtrack somewhat on his threats to dismantle it) - no matter how hard Trump tries to dismantle his legacy, somethings can't be undone Donald. And hey, who knows, maybe we'll get Michelle in 2020?
P - Protest
The face of activism has changed a lot in the last decade and with the rise of clicktivism, you can share your discontent from the comfort of your bed. Yet, across American cities, anti-Trump protests are now in their fifth day. Placards and chants aren't going to stop Trump from kicking the democrats out of the White House any more than a Facebook status, but it's an important reminder that Trump didn't win the popular vote, and that people aren't being complacent.
S - Saturday Night Live
Sometimes, we need comedy to make sense of the madness. SNL's opening scene may have twisted the knife in the nation's election week comedown [it's a sombre Kate McKinnon playing Hilary Clinton, singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, but host Dave Chapelle's opening monologue still managed to serve up equal parts of humour and hope.
T - Trapped
Funded on Kickstarter, Trapped is an award-winning documentary that follows the clinic workers and lawyers fighting to keep abortions in the US safe and legal. With women's right to choose being contested more than ever, it's harrowing but important viewing. Next month, it's being screened in London, learn more about the film here.
W - Weed
Marijuana is now legal in several states. To quote Michelle Obama, "when they go low, we go high."
Z - Zizek
Speaking prior to the election, everyone's fave anti-capitalist philosopher and cultural theorist, Zizek said he was 'horrified' by Trump, but would have voted for him, because it represents the drastic change needed by American politics and beyond.
"In every society there is a whole network of unwritten rules, how politics works, and how you build consensus. Trump disturbed this. And if Trump wins, both big parties, Republicans and Democrats would have to return to basics, rethink themselves, and maybe some things can happen there. That's my desperate, very desperate hope, that if Trump wins… Listen, America is still not a dictatorial state, he will not introduce fascism. But it will be a kind of big awakening. New political processes will be set in motion, will be triggered."
Zizek's work is notorious for being pretty impenetrable to those without MA degrees in cultural theory, but in an interview with the Guardian last year, his point was profoundly hopeful. "I'm a pessimist in the sense that we are approaching dangerous times. But I'm an optimist for exactly the same reason. Pessimism means things are getting messy. Optimism means these are precisely the times when change is possible."
Text Shannon Mahanty