Today Jefferson Beauregard Sessions was confirmed by the US Senate Republican majority to be Attorney General of the United States. Sessions whose appointment to a federal judgeship had been opposed by Coretta Scott King (Martin Luther King Jr’s widow) in 1986 due to anti-Civil Rights activities in Alabama.
The day before Betsy DeVos, a woman with no formal training in education policy, work as a school teacher, or even attendee of of an American public school, became the Secretary of Education.
Both of these cabinet appointees of President Donald Trump were vociferously opposed by Democrats particularly the base of the Democratic Party. DeVos moreso than Sessions even.
But they were confirmed.
A colleague wondered what one should do since no matter what the Senate Democrats do, they will never get the votes to take down a Cabinet nominee, unless they break the Senate Republican lock. A Republican is in the White House. And the House of Representatives like the US Senate is Republican dominated.
To me it’s simple: organize.
Like President Obama said in his final address to the nation: “If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing,” the President implored. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”
What did African Americans do when they were shut out of political power in the late 19th century until the mid 20th century? Organize.
Black people in most parts of the South, had no right to vote and because of that could not serve in juries and run for public office. They were virtually non existent in the political landscape bur through marches, rallies, and strategic political organizing and combined with media saavy, they created a movement that eventually brought a nation to realize it was time for legal equality of the races.
Women in the US in the 1st and Second wave movements of the women’s rights movement, fought for the women’s vote, a women’s right to choose an abortion legally, to attend more Universities and colleges, to have equal participation in school sports, a woman’s right to have their own credit without a husband co-signing even.
How did they do it? They organized.
LGBTQ Americans lived in the shadows until the 1970s and 1980s. They first fought for the right to be out and proud, won the right to marry who they love, and continue the fight to ensure housing and job discrimination is a thing of the past. How did they win their victories while in the minority? They organized.
It’s going to take everything we got. This isn’t a wait until election year type of time to get active. And there are plenty of ways to get active.
Donate to organization’s whose causes you support.
Host a fundraiser.
Get to now your Congressperson. Call their office about your concerns. Got to a townhall for your Member of Congress.
Attend a rally or a march on an issue you support. Plan a rally or a march on an issue you support.
Write Letters to the Editor or Op-Eds. Getting the message out is important.
And when the time comes vote. Register people to vote and get ten of your friends to vote.
Yes we’re going to lose some battles, but if we’re strategic we can win the war