From Mapping Feminist Anthropology for the 21st Century, edited by Ellen Lewin and Leni Silverstein
The vote to confirm the woefully unqualified Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was delayed due to an outpouring of resistance. The hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions will now be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 31 so that Republicans have more time to garner votes. We must act now:
Please call one of the following Republican Senators (key in the confirmation vote) to express your opposition on the appointment. At least 3 of these senators need to be convinced in order to block DeVos’ nomination. Don’t email. Don’t tweet. Don’t complain on Facebook. Please call them!
Then, PLEASE SHARE WIDELY:
If you live in one of the states represented below, PLEASE call YOUR Senator. If you don’t, pick one and call him/her:
Susan Collins (ME) 207.622.8414..&..202.224.2523
Lamar Alexander (TN) 615.736.5129..&..202.224.4944
Lisa Murkowski (AK) 907.586.7277..&..202.224.6665
Johnny Isakson (GA) 770.661.0999..&..202.224.3643
Orrin Hatch (UT) 801.524.4380..&..202.224.5251
Richard Burr (NC) 336.631.5125..&..202.224.3154..&.. 910.251.1058..&..828.350.2437
Michael Enzi (WY) 202.224.3424
Dr. Bill Cassidy (LA) 202.224.5824
Pat Roberts (KS) 202.224.4774
Tim Scott (SC) 202.224.6121
Rand Paul (KY) 202.224.4343
Each day more faculty, staff and administrators sign on to express their commitment to human dignity and equality. Please share these Statements of Solidarity with your friends and colleagues. Thank you.
Let each of us plan our next moves. There is too much at stake to remain silent now. I draw strength every day from my friends and colleagues who share a commitment to human dignity and decency. And let me say it: I am a relatively privileged white woman with a PhD. Trump and his kind will not come for me first— they will turn first on the targets Trump enumerated throughout his campaign. People of color, Muslims, members of the LGBTQ communities, undocumented workers, asylum seekers— they are on the frontlines of the forthcoming assault. So let us be the best allies we can. If the Trump administration registers Muslims, then state you are a Muslim. If the right to same sex marriage is repealed, then register as gay every time you must state your status. If asked your (binary) gender, check the box for Other. They will not come for us first, so we must be the buffer for what comes next. People we love are in danger.
One former student who is Muslim let me know how much it mattered to her in the aftermath of 9/11 to have people — friends and strangers — reach out to make sure she was alright and to offer a safe place if she needed it. As she wrote, “When suddenly you are judged for just being who you are, having kind people around you makes the world of difference.” Be that difference in someone’s life.
Here is another tool. This can be adapted to your school or university. It reclaims public space as a site of peaceful association, and can help our students who feel particularly threatened right now. One colleague, with the support of her provost, has made a version with her Lehman College logo and they are posting these across campus. For professors and schoolteachers, you can hang this on your door. Our students need reassurance now.
I plan to do this in the spaces in which I live and work. Racist and sexist behavior colonizes public space, and reclaiming it with love and messages of solidarity matters. It matters for all of us, but right now especially for those who are directly threatened by Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric and the ways in which this election outcome has emboldened public attacks on Muslims, people of color, members of the LGBTQ communities, women and girls. I plan to practice solidarity….and to make a whole lot of noise as well.