Why I Speak Out About The Resistance Every Day

Twenty years ago I was in New York, interviewing at Columbia University for graduate school. One evening I encountered a man on the subway speaking out about the closing of a local community center. He was young, but he appeared worn out, clearly having been at this a long time. He carried a petition and a sheaf of flyers, many which lay muddied and torn on the subway floor. With his free arm he wiped his forehead, pushing his hair away and nearly unseating his yarmulke, which was barely held in place by two silver snap-tight barrettes. He appealed to the riders again in a horse voice, speaking of the importance of community, the dangers of gentrification and reciting the expected statistics. But they, too, were worn from their day. No one even made eye contact with him. Perhaps he was just background noise that couldn’t penetrate their own thoughts, or perhaps they knew that acknowledging this man’s cause would somehow obligate them to do something about it. Maybe they had learned to ignore those who might burden them with their expectations.

His voice trailed off. Shaking his head, he made his way to the exit. As the doors slid open, he turned to face the other riders, “When you no longer recognize the neighborhood…When there is no community left, remember I was here today and I tried to do something.” With that, he exited the train and I watched the doors slide closed behind him. Glancing around, I noticed I was not the only one looking at the door. I wanted to call to him to come back so he could see what I was seeing. He had their attention, if only briefly. The passengers blinked in confusion and surprise, some looked uneasy, as if they just realized they may not have been paying attention to something important. For most, it was momentary, and they quickly returned to their books, newspapers, worries and reveries, but some remained contemplative, their eyes drifting to the flyers littering the floor. A few even reached down and picked one up. Something had happened. In his moment of candid frustration, he had awoken them. It gave me hope.

The morning of November 9, 2016, I was drowning in emotions–shock, fear, anger, blame, and exhaustion. How could this have happened? Did I not do enough? I had organized, strategized, made phone-calls, written letters, blogs, and endless posts. I had shared information, exposed disinformation, patiently debated, reminded people to register and vote. Before they left for school, my children asked me, “What are you going to do now, Mom?” I didn’t have an answer for them. This was supposed to be the end of the battle. I knew the true battle hadn’t even begun, and I felt desolate in the face of it; however, I kept thinking of the man on the subway all those years ago. As shocked and disappointed as I was in my fellow Americans, I knew I couldn’t give up on them. By the time my kids came home from school, I had an answer. “I am going to keep fighting.” 

I have kept fighting, as have millions of you. The Resistance was formed and it thrives. Little by little, the American people are waking up and standing up for themselves and others. It is not one battle, but an endless series of battles that require daily action and vigilance. And everyday I can say, “I was here today and I tried to do something.”

Author: razzara

Mother, strategist, writer, advocate, activist. My education is in Anthropology and Philosophy. I am the Founder and Director of Democrats Work For America, a political action committee supporting grassroots organizations and initiatives.

14 thoughts on “Why I Speak Out About The Resistance Every Day”

  1. You need to get out of New York and get a breath of fresh air. You don’t define yourself, you are defined by what you do and say as determined by your audience, maybe you should really listen to the people who left your party and voted in droves for other party, seek first to understand before you rant like a child find common ground and seek peace.


    1. I was visiting New York, I don’t live in New York. I have lived many places in this country, and currently live in the Midwest. As far as ‘voting in droves’, I would remind you that HRC received the majority of votes by an unprecedented margin. I agree that we are defined by our actions.


      1. Hillary Clinton won a majority of votes in California. Take away California and her national popular vote margin disappears. But we don’t have to take away California because the Constitution and the Electoral College don’t work like that. Hillary Clinton lost, the same way every other losing Presidential candidate in history lost. She didn’t get enough EC votes.

        Reality doesn’t care about your feelings.


      2. We are aware who won the EC. Take away the gerrymandering, voter suppression, massive cross-check dumps – or just one of these things and the outcome is different. This doesn’t even factor in Russia’s disinformation campaign that target key swing states or their hack into voter rolls. Trump won, to the regret of 75 million voters and currently 66% of the population. And, no, feelings won’t change that, but political activism will rectify it.


  2. But doesn’t explain how Republican Senators and Congressmen won in their states and districts with more votes than Trump did in those states / districts. And certainly doesn’t address how Democrats have lost over 1000 seats since 2010. The American people have soundly rejected the Democrat brand. The more localized the data set, the more Republican it gets. State governors. Legislatures. County commissioners. Mayors…

    Maybe the end of Democrat losses is to stop holding elections? LOL


    1. It is a hallmark of the two-party system…surge and decline. Reactive voting, change elections-frankly, the constant back and forth has served us poorly as we rarely improve and build on agendas in longitudinal fashion enough to sustain real direction and progress. Europe has done much better with that. That said, the Trump era represents such an utter rock-bottom situation, I have no doubt you will see major gains in DEM seats. My hope is that the American people learn something out of this–learn to be less complacent, realize that they need to pay attention, educate themselves and be active in government. Maybe that will be the silver-lining.


    1. We all need to educate ourselves. Specifically, we need to stay current with the changing national and international sociopolitical issues. I think the days of simply making a partisan vote and going back to our lives are past.


    1. Between fallout from Brexit and the ripple effect into Europe over Trump, I believe you will see a backlash against the Far Right in Europe as well. Putin, for his agenda, wants Le Pen to win in France, but she is dropping in polls now. I think that has a lot to do with reaction to what is happening in the US.


    1. No, it’s the proper strategy in response to the far Right nationalist movement. Macron is a liberal centrist, if anything, he represents stability for EU in contrast to Le Pen. As with Brexit and our own election, Le Pen’s win is of interest to Putin, who needs destabilization to regain power, and those that share the nationalist ideology in Europe and our own country, such as Mercer and Bannon. This means a whole hell of a lot of psy-ops (Cambridge Analytica) and cyber based propaganda. We’ve seen how powerful that can be. Macron is a safe choice for the showdown with Le Pen.


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