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Reaching the Breaking Point

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I've been thinking a lot about this quote from Mario Savio from 1964 "There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"

For many of us, that point was the day Trump was elected. But for others, it hasn't come yet. It's worth asking: what would it take? Is it the swastika painted on your church or temple? The rounding up of millions of immigrants, including your friends, neighbors, co-workers, congregants? Harassment and violence visited on Muslims or Jews or LGBTQ people you know by empowered white nationalists? The pipeline or coal mine or frack-well being built in your backyard? What is your breaking point?

Last night, John Oliver implored people to donate to groups working on the protection of vulnerable Americans - yes, do that! You're signing petitions to abolish the electoral college - fantastic. Expressing your anger at Trump voters on Facebook - good, let it out, no one's telling you how to grieve. But visualize at what point you'll be compelled not just to give your words or your money or your time, but to throw your body upon the Trump machine to make it stop.

For the next two months, Obama is still President. And while he is, his feet need to be held to the fire to make sure the full weight of the federal government is put behind shutting down the increasing incidents of hate and violence we're seeing. That means identifying and publicizing and protesting every fucked up hate crime that happens between now and the inauguration. And we need to do everything we can to protect and support one another.

But this is just the beginning. We won't experience the full onslaught of Trump's cruelty, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia until January 20th when the new administration takes power. We need to be ready.

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