Ten for Tuesday: Concerned Citizen Edition

Last week’s Tuesday Ten was lighter than this one. Feel free to peruse it again if that’s what you need.

If you need some inspiration mingled with motivation to get your butt in gear, today’s post is for you.

PBS 'EYES ON THE PRIZE'

1. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965: I just picked up this six-part documentary about the civil rights movement and can’t wait to watch it again. My 11th-grade AP government teacher arranged a viewing of this series after school, and he felt it was so important that anyone who watched the whole thing would get two points on their entire semester grade. I showed up for the grade. I stayed because it was riveting and heartbreaking and convicting.

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2. Four Ways to Withstand Chaos in 2017 and Beyond, via the Improvised Life website. I’ll save you a click and say they are gardening, letter-writing, conversations and music. But the post also quotes Seth Godin’s “more-less” list, which is worth checking out. Write your own!

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3. “Home” by Warsan Shire. This poem has been shared widely during the Syrian refugee crisis:

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land

Those lines are probably the most famous, but read the whole thing. Poetry, like all good art, builds empathy.

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4. Mohsen Omrani’s tweet-thread about a woman who helped him during the incredible chaos that unfolded during last Friday’s travel ban.

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Click the link for more.

Be like Barbara.

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5. When Muslims Got Blocked at American Airports, US Veterans Rushed to Help.

“This is not what we fought for, having been in Iraq and working with these interpreters,” Buchalter said in a phone interview Sunday. When he saw an Iraqi family emerge from detention, he presented them with something he hoped would convey America’s goodwill — a Purple Heart.

The best of who we are.

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6. “First They Came”: The Poem of the Protests. A lovely article about the Rev. Martin Niemoller and his poem that launched a thousand protest signs. There are many versions of the poem, which speaks to its power, but this one is displayed in the Holocaust Museum here in DC:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

[The words] quickly became popular, from there, as a lyrical argument for civil rights and collective action—and, more broadly, for simple empathy. The quote was that rarest of things: a political argument grounded in religious tradition.

In 1933, Niemöller [said], he and his fellow clergy members included in the founding documents of the Pfarrernotbund the idea that any action made against a minister of Jewish heritage would be considered an action against the collective. As he put it: “That was probably the first anti-antisemitic pronouncement coming from the Protestant Church.”

7. Life Lessons You Can Learn from Improv. This isn’t related to politics at all, but improv is and will be a powerful tool for navigating an uncertain and quickly-changing landscape.

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8. A Shy Person’s Guide to Calling Representatives. Very helpful for those of us who hate the phone.

Bonus link: How to call your reps when you have social anxiety. And this one’s illustrated!

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9. Breathe: A Poem by Unitarian Minister Lynn Unger. This poem kicked off a conference call for faith leaders I attended last week. I don’t want to excerpt it, so click and read the whole thing.

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10. 105 Oddball Holidays to Celebrate with Kids (or Anyone). Because life is still beautiful and joy is subversive:

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P.S. Our team’s fundraiser for Planned Parenthood is going strong and we’d love your support. Learn more here.

 

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