June 28, 2018
Written by Surina Khan, CEO Women’s Foundation of California
Outrage. Fear. Paralysis. The past 18 months have been an assault on our collective values, our lives, and our loved ones, and it feels as if this month of June has taken things to a boiling point.
If we haven’t already been shocked, disheartened, and compelled to action by the traumatic separation and imprisonment of families at the border, we’ve also had to experience the disastrous Supreme Court decisions that are destroying many of the fundamental protections that we value most highly – voting rights, worker’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights and, chillingly, reproductive freedom.While we celebrate the passage of SB320 (Student Right To Access) through the Assembly Higher Education Committee in Sacramento, how can we not simultaneously reel at the rulings this week and the way our country continues to uphold bigotry, Islamophobia, sexism, racial prejudice and discrimination?
It’s unfathomable, yet somehow true, that with Justice Kennedy’s imminent retirement, the Supreme Court is now positioned to swing even further to the right. This is a balance that would not only deeply imperil Roe v. Wade, but also disrupt the march of progressive judicial oversight in so many arenas that are crucial for us and for generations to come.
We cannot accept the dismemberment of our democracy.We do not get up every day to work, to talk, to share, to gather, to love, to believe, to fight so that bigotry and hatred can prevail. We will not accept the rantings of illegitimate, heartless, leaders who care more about demagoguery and power than the people they were elected to serve. We will resist.
So, what do we do?
As tired, fearful, and overwhelmed as these assaults on our liberty and justice may make us feel, we need to remember that we have seen these days before. And we will persevere. Those of us impacted by gender-based violence–and those of us who are also people of color, queer, and/or immigrants–are stepping into our power. Across the country, we are becoming involved in civic life, we are running for (and winning) office, learning and teaching about the issues, challenging prejudice and discrimination, and defending the communities to which we belong and are allied with.
All of this we must continue and amplify. We must support organizations that are on the ground fighting against exclusionary and xenophobic policies. We must support and invest in gender, racial, and economic justice so that we can build and sustain the networks, knowledge, and infrastructure that will see our movement through to a brighter day.
We must believe in the possibility of that brighter day – and we must walk towards it, fists in the air if needed. We will not give up in the face of threat. Our communities are resilient and powerful.