I saw the footage of fascists marching in Washington DC yesterday, chanting "reclaim America". I'm sure I wasn't alone in feeling helpless. What can we do, really?
We can do a lot. And we must.
Indivisible has a good page about how to stand against white supremacy. It's a kind of primer for how one might begin to think about the topic. I think one document - Tools for White Guys who are Working for Social Change … and other people socialized in a society based on domination - is particularly strong.
As I write this, I'm in Philadelphia to co-facilitate a workshop on designing for equity with the great Roxann Stafford, who taught me a great deal when we were both working at Matter. Our audience is local newsrooms from around the world. In a world where democracy is threatened by authoritarians who wield xenophobia and nationalism as weapons, we need journalism that addresses the needs, and amplifies the voices, of vulnerable communities more than ever. I'm excited to listen and learn.
The biggest thing we need to do is listen to the people who are affected most - not just in the current moment, but by generations of institutional discrimination. And then we need to stand alongside them, make space for their leadership, and ensure they are heard and empowered everywhere, in every aspect of life.
It sickens me to see racists and nationalists marching on our streets. But if we sit back and do nothing, we're complicit. We've all got to do something.