No Damsel in Distress Here: Taking Action in Trump America

Not even 24 hours after Trump winning U.S. elections, the level of open racism, reports of sexual assault and violence towards disenfranchised and minority groups escalated to a disgraceful level for 2016 standards.

If you’re still in shock, grieving, or angry over these results. It’s OK.

Let yourself heal. But after that, be a boss. Empower yourself to take action.

If you’re wondering what in the world could you possibly do anything about something that feels out of your hands or have no control over – we’ve collected some valuable insights from our favorite Muslimah leaders, shakers and movers and made an action list just for you:

  1. First – stay calm, get educated, be connected. We’ve technically been dealing with terrible decision making by our government for many years (wall street bailout, wars, etc), but we will stay resilient and informed. Don’t panic and be depressed forever either. Take this energy and channel it into action that comes from an authentic place. Not to overwhelm or overburden yourself, take action that will let you be YOU – to who you are and why you care so much. Rest assured, this man has made a whole bunch of “promises” he cannot keep. –  Van Jones.
  2. Be unapologetically Muslim. Do not let people tell you or let you feel less worthy because of your beliefs. Even if you disagree with the outcome of the election, you can protest anything you want. Do it safely and respectfully, but if you feel strongly about it – just do it! – Linda Sarsour.
  3. Don’t hesitate to take precautions. If it makes you feel any more empowered – purchase pepper spray or take self-defense classes. See this list of 47 Safety Tips of Muslimahs.
  4. If you experience any form of harassment or assault, please please report it to the police, ACLU and CAIR. File that police report in person. If you think it’s a waste of time or useless, it at least provides real data and a quantitative basis for analyzing hate crimes that have been occurring. Then file hate crimes with ACLU and CAIR – they are there to support and represent you.
  5. Boycott racists businesses. It doesn’t cost you a thing – literally. Don’t take or bring your money to establishments that degrade you or any other human. Call out any racist remarks or harassment – especially on review pages like Yelp or BBB  – The Love Life of an Asian Guy.
  6. Ignore bullies, they want a reaction. If you see or hear harassment in the streets – ignore the perpetrator but engage the victim with a conversation. Call out hate speech when you hear it… in your living room, at work, with friends, in public.
  7. Increase your activism, civic engagement or simply stay informed. Almost half of America did not turn out to vote this election season. Important propositions (like in California – the death penalty, rising drug costs and legalization of marijuana) and worthy Senate and House of Representatives (like Ilhan Omar, the first Somali American woman legislator in the US) were being decided by voters and your vote counts more towards these issues!
  8. And last but not least, if you find out someone has made the decision to remove their headscarf during this time, make duaa and support each other. We know first hand how hard it is to be visibly Muslim during this time. There’s no reason why you should believe to be better or more righteous than the person who chooses to do it.

“The work of unmaking violence begins with us—when we confront the violence, fear, and hatred in our midst. Even small acts can remake the world” (PreemptiveLove.org). 

Do you have any thoughts/action ideas to add to this list?

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