This is my plan in response to the election results, to try to mitigate the damage as best as I can. I’m sharing this so I can get feedback and more ideas, or just to give other people ideas who aren’t sure what to do.
I will vote with my wallet – Donate and boycott
Money moves things in this country, for better or worse. I have already signed up to have monthly donations going to Planned Parenthood and ACLU. It’s not a lot, my work situation is kind of unstable at the moment, but it’s something.
Likewise, I’m going to stop eating meat produced by the American meat industry. I’m going to stop spending money on a product that utilizes the work of undocumented immigrants and never gets punished by the government, instead the workers are punished. And if there are any more industries that I should be avoiding, let me know.
I will be vocal
I have always choked at confrontation and I’ve always told myself “I’m just not good at debate”. I’ve allowed myself to be quiet because I couldn’t find the words, or I was afraid of what people think. This has to stop. Moreso than convincing other people of your point of view, you need to be vocal so that those who are affected see that they are not alone. To me, that is infinitely more important. We still need to teach, but decreasing the alienation is important.
We need to hold discussions that fight apathy, complacency, to fight ignorance about the issues (because some people have the privilege to live in a bubble unaffected). We need to fight the “me and mine” mentality. We need to fight the idea that it’s OK for white people to just hang out with white people, to retreat to their homogeneous groups of people just like them.
The strategy that I’m trying out when dealing with confrontation is to ask questions. I’m not good at debating, but maybe if I break down their point of view enough by asking “Why?”, maybe I can find something for them to think about.
I will demand
Simply voting in this presidential election has failed, but we have to keep fighting. If the government passes a “bathroom bill” to restrict who can use what bathroom, then I’m going to demand that every business that I spend money at provides gender neutral bathrooms, ESPECIALLY if they are single-stalls. I’m going to demand equality when I hear about other businesses discriminating against people. I will email the state representatives and demand that they work for justice, because even though I didn’t elect them, they still work for me. At the same time, I’m going to try my best to educate those who did vote for them, so that they can also reach out to the representatives and tell them that every person must be treated with respect.
I will build safe spaces
I will continue working to make my classrooms a safe space, and to create safe spaces for others. I have only had one class since the election, but I will explicitly and verbally let everybody know that I respect them, no matter what their religion, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability is. I will let them all know that I will listen to them and advocate for them. I will let them know that I am with them.
I will fight to make the spaces that I am part of safe, by talking to the people responsible for that space, and by calling out inappropriate behavior in the space.
I will stand
I will make an effort to go to protests. I will continue to monitor police officers when they pull somebody over, to make sure they know they’re being watched and to make sure that who they’re interacting with is safe and respected. I will try my best to be physically present wherever I am needed to show solidarity with those being affected.
I will humanize
I will work with my Moo team to build games that humanize people. I think that too many people can shrug off the hardships of others, whether they’re in another city or country, or if they’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community, or of a different culture. Again, we need to stop this “me and mine” mentality, and we need to make it blatantly obvious that we expect human rights and respect for every person. EVERY PERSON. Regardless of whether they’re under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, or from another country, or don’t have a job, or has gone to prison before. Everybody has the right to live, to eat, to sleep, to be safe, to respect.
I will find other peoples’ works about people who aren’t just white men. I will share these works with others, and amplify. We need to tell more diverse stories.
I will vote
I am also making a commitment to being a more active voter. I will try to volunteer as time permits, but I will vote more than just once every four years.
I will listen and learn
I will continue talking to people around the world and learning about them. I will continue listening and supporting them. I will share feeds to these voices with people I know.
I will stay
We cannot leave this country. Not everybody who is affected can leave this country. We need to stay here, and protect our neighbors, and fight to make change. We cannot abandon this country, and we cannot abandon the people here.
That’s all I have at the moment. If you have any other ideas, let me know. We have to stay diligent and fight. We need to demand election reform – I’m sick of this winner-take-all system!
Back when I was an awkward 12 year old, I loved staying up late, listening to the radio, and building adventure games in Visual Basic 5 on my very own compy. Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers was one of these games, though I have long forgotten the ending of the game, as it crashes part-way through.
To get the Moo team used to RenPy, we’re having a game jam this month to build a short story with RenPy. It is the Moopy Jam. My project is to remake Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers.
Sometimes it is a lot of fun to step back from complex programming and just work with art and basic story. I’m terrible at writing stories, but oh well! I’m remaking a 16 year old game, so who cares?!