Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Trump’s recent decision to kill DACA and with it, any minuscule shred of his remaining humanity.
As someone who has decidedly (and unfortunately) not been living under a rock, I am well aware of the leader of the free world’s less-than-popular decisions. In fact, I’m currently working on a story about DACA and its possible end, and the effects of such an end on students at USM.
While I was attempting to find sources for the story in question, I did not refer to it as DACA. I asked my friends if they knew any “dreamers.”
“Yeah,” my friend said. “I dream. Haha.”
It is necessary to note that this friend is not an unfeeling dust mop, but rather an uninformed, non-marginalized ally with no idea what works and doesn’t work in the way of showing solidarity for his marginalized friends. Unfortunately, there are too many of them.
So I came up with a list. Here are things I’ve seen people do that I don’t feel achieve much in the long run.
1. Wearing Safety pins – what exactly, are you holding together?
Fragile notions about the U.S.’s true colors? I appreciate the sentiment, but in the time it would take for a targeted person to locate a safety pin, they could be attacked. And couldn’t someone who means marginalized people harm also easily don a safety pin?
2. Constantly bringing up how much worse everything has gotten.
Speaking of fragile notions about the U.S. true colors – your POC friends don’t appreciate hearing that things have gotten bad.
They know. They’ve known all their lives. For them, it was always bad. It’s just more visible now, thanks to social media and the Trump administration’s blatant disregard for common human decency and its media “covfefe.”
3. Wearing hijabs
I appreciate this sentiment. Really, I do. I think it’s great that you want to weather disconcerting stares and (let’s be honest) often- unbearable heat in order to show your support for hijabis. But remember that at the end of the day, you are not a hijabi. You can return to life as you know it the minute you take that hijab off. You don’t need to risk being targeted in a possible hate crime, and I promise no hijabi wants you to. Non-hijabi allies are important!
4. Hashtags and profile picture changes
Hashtags have been known to get things done before, but at the end of the day, they aren’t enough.Neitherisadding a frame to your Facebook profile picture. Do both – but don’t stop at them. Do more. Always do more.
5. Protests, marches, vigils, etc.
Speaking of doing more, I love protests, marches and vigils as much as any other person and often attend them – but let’s be honest. If participating is the only thing you’re doing, you’re not doing much. Maybe after you march, you can sit down and write a couple letters or make a couple calls to your legislators. And then, if they continue to support harmful legislation, maybe don’t re-elect them.