Ways You Can Support Charlottesville

Though President Trump refused to immediately condemn the act of terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, VA, people across the US are organizing to combat these folks and their attempts to spread hate. Though we live far from Virginia, there are still steps people in Minnesota can take to support efforts in Charlottesville and around the country.

1. Donate money to those in need in Charlottesville

A number of GoFundMe fundraisers have been set up to cover the medical expenses of counter-protestors who were injured by white supremacists, including one started by a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and one hosted by Unity C-Ville. If you are interested in donating to an organization rather than a GoFundMe account, you can find a list of Charlottesville organizations that focus on supporting the community here.

2. Attend a vigil or protest

Both vigils and protests have taken place in Minnesota to express solidarity with the Charlottesville counter-protesters, and a march is planned for this weekend in order to continue the support. If you’re interested in taking action in the future, be sure to check out the TakeAction calendar to find information on  lots of relevant meetings and action events. Also, check out organizations like Voices for Racial Justice, ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, who do important work in our state on issues like economic and racial justice.

3. Contact your legislator

Contacting your legislators to express your concerns regarding white supremacy and Trump’s silence on the topic is always a good idea, and you can do so by finding your legislator and either writing to them or calling their office. If you want a step-by-step guide to contacting your legislator, follow this guide for clear instructions on how to make your voice heard.

4. Stay updated on any new developments

Even though the news coming out of Charlottesville is hard to hear, it is important to stay abreast of all of the information that develops over the next few days. Most major publications are already keeping track of the events coming out of Charlottesville, but some especially informative opinions are coming out The New Yorker, so feel free to check out these articles in between news reports.

Americans Agree: Transgender Individuals Should Be Able To Serve

President Trump’s most recent tweet storm stirred up controversy last week when he announced that he intends to deny transgender individuals the ability to serve in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. This announcement befuddled and outraged many Americans, and an outpouring of support for the transgender community came in from activists, prominent service members, and government officials alike. And now, a week after Trump’s announcement was posted on Twitter, the American people themselves have spoken: recent polls show that the majority of American citizens do not agree with the banning of transgender individuals from military service.

Here are the stats you need to know: an AOL News poll found that 54% of Americans believe that transgender individuals should be allowed to serve in the military. This finding is backed up by a similar Reuters poll, which reported that 58% of Americans support the idea that transgender individuals should have the opportunity to serve if they so wish. Apparently, Americans are less concerned about the associated with the medical care of transgender service members (which would be minimal, according to a 2016 Rand Corp. Study,), and more concerned about the issue of civil rights that such a ban would create.

It is President Trump’s job to represent the people, and the people–from a group of 56 retired admirals to the Human Rights Campaign to the American people themselves–have spoken: transgender individuals most definitely should have the opportunity to serve in the military.