November 9th was a wake up call for everyone. For 62 million soon to be regretful voters, it was a day of hope and bright aspirations, however, for the millions of people of color and underrepresented groups in this country, it was a moment of sheer panic. After years of progress, these groups will now have to face off against a man that cannot stop tweeting and is assembling a coalition of the wackest unit of white people since Nickleback. This new reality has spurred many social justice groups into action. But, unless there is an honest effort to build bonds and coalition with partners in the movement, they will fail. Miserably.
Thankfully, there is a blueprint for success, a group of people with individual motives who have already joined together to fight pure evil. They began as five teenagers with serious attitudes. In the end, they became the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.
Are you laughing? Well stop, because as silly as this may seem, the Power Rangers represent the perfect example of collective action trumping individual efforts. Whenever the rangers tried to defeat Rita Repulse or one of her terrible villains on their own they failed, but when they worked as a team, they were undefeated. There is no better example of this than the third episode in season one, titled Teamwork. In this episode, the rangers were facing off against The Most Menacing Minotaur a monster slightly stronger than their previous defeated villains. Try as they might, nothing could stop him. The black and red rangers led the pack, attacking the minotaur with every combination of ranger King Fu they could think of, and when that failed, they called the rest of the team and tried their zords. There were five zords pummeling this monster, but they couldn’t close the deal.
Fearing they would suffer a beat down the rangers might not recover from, Zordon teleported them back to the command center, and read them to filth (ok, not exactly). His message was clear. The rangers were a team of five, but were operating as if there was only one person fighting. If they were to walk away from this battle with a victory, they would have to realize their potential as a unit. He then provided them with tools that represented each of their strengths, while emphasizing the need for them to work together.
When the rangers returned to face the Minotaur, they had a renewed passion and commitment to teamwork. Utilizing everyone's strengths and making a few sacrifices, they were able to hit him with the one-two punch of Justice, and then finish it off with the power blaster.
At this very moment, we stand in the same predicament the Power Rangers were in. As individual movements, we are powerful; some might say we're as formidable as the green ranger in his prime. However, no matter how great we are as separate entities, there is absolutely no pathway to victory if we go at this alone. Donald Trump, the #Alllivesmatter movement, and the Alt Right putty patrol just handed us a major beat down. They get to prance around as the winners for the next two years. (Midterm elections) Whether this celebration is a short term bump in the road, or a new American normal will be up to us. Let's unite as a team, call on the power of the social justice power sword, and send these fools home for good.