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The Trump Moment: We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

Art by Shepard FaireyBy Dawn Phillips

The Trump victory is devastating. Devastating for communities of color, immigrants, women, Muslims and queer communities. Devastating for us.

Trump has given new voice to deeply rooted white supremacy, gender violence, xenophobia and hatred. Hatred of everything that we are. Hatred of everything that we have struggled against.

There are no illusions, we have lived a long time with terror and injustice. But there should be no illusions, that this marks a new phase. A new phase in the development of fascist demagoguery in the belly of the beast.

We were not ready to jump on the Clinton bandwagon. Not ready to support her neoliberal agenda at home and promotion of American empire abroad. Not ready to forget her tone-deaf engagement with Black and immigrant organizers and lack of interest in taking action on race. She was not our grandmother and she did not speak for us. But despite her limitations there should be no illusion that we have ended up with the greater of two evils. Trump’s fascism over Clinton’s neoliberalism.

We have always resisted. Resisted the lies of the two-party electoral game. Resisted police beatings and murders. Resisted environmental degradation and the evils of corporate polluters. Resisted male violence and transphobia. Resisted the rich bosses and landlords who own the airwaves and politicians.

Resistance is our legacy. Resistance is our duty. We have resisted a long time. We will continue to resist.

Our goal is transformation.

A world where housing is a right and there is a guaranteed living wage for all. A world where neighbors come together to decide the future of their communities and development serves human need, not profit.

A world where treaties are honored, where there is self-determination for Native and Black peoples. A world where women, young people and queer folks make decisions about public resources and policies. A world without borders, where we are free to move for health, for love, for work, for family.

We want to transform racial divisions between and within our communities of color. We want to transform structures of hetropatriarchy in our families. We want to transform the very nature of our relationships from the individual, to the community, to the societal.

This is not about an election or a policy or a political party. Our vision of transformation is deeper and will require not only a change in the system, but a change within ourselves.

Our strategy is to organize and build power.

We will continue to talk to our neighbors, to those facing evictions and deportations. We will come together in our living rooms and kitchens to share our struggles, articulate vision, strategy and plans. We will take collective action to fight and win locally where we have had the greatest impact in improving lives and conditions.

We will build movement. We will engage our differences with respect and honesty. We will connect our humanity and unite around our shared needs and interest. We will build trust and solidarity.
Local Organizing Matters

A renter movement has emerged in the Bay Area that is as concerned with racial justice as it is with housing justice and this vision is reverberating nationally.

Immigrant women are growing a domestic worker movement that is invigorating the labor movement and winning local and state level fights across the country. In Maricopa County, thousands of Latinos organized to oust Joe Arpaio and end 24 years of racist policing.

Local organizing matters. Local power matters. Change and transformation will rise up from our neighborhoods and cities, it will not flow down from D.C., the President or the Democrats.

The outcomes and impacts of this night are still unfolding. While our assessments and interventions are still in development, one thing is clear. Now more than ever, there is a need for our resistance, our vision of transformation and the hard work of organizing, building power and growing our movement.

There was no illusion that things were going to get easier, only the reality that our struggle continues and must become stronger and more effective.

Onward.

Dawn Phillips is Co-Director of Programs at Causa Justa :: Just Cause and Executive Director at Right to the City Alliance.