Action Items: Things to Do to Help Fight Evil and Save the World

Action Items are notes from the "Let's Save the World" committee meetings in my head. A collection of some news items and articles that may fire up a desire for action, and then at least one suggested action item to follow up. It won't be comprehensive of every single thing in the world and all the ways to fix it, but it will be something, and something is better than nothing.

Some of the Things That Are Happening:

The family separation crisis is still happening. Here is a roundup of how Americans can help. Also, children were drugged without consent in at least one detention centre.

A janitor saved the belongings seized from migrants at the US border. The photographs are haunting.

Food insecurity is a big problem in the North, and that brings with it other problems: feminine hygiene product insecurity. The girls in Nunavut often can't afford pads or tampons and simply stay home or try to make do with a sock instead.

Canadians can find out if they were born near an operating residential school using this interactive map. I learned that the nearest residential school to my hometown closed the year I was born.

It turns out that James Comey has used his personal email account, hosted by Gmail, for FBI business. Hilary Clinton had the best response.

Possibly for the first time ever, Jordan Peterson has admitted he was wrong.

Charleston, South Carolina, the city where half the African slaves entered the United States, is set to apologize for its role in slavery.

Dr. Gregory H. Stanton has studied genocide and come up with a list of the 10 stages a society must go through in order to choose to exterminate a people group, as well as the countermeasures that can prevent the process from continuing.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre made this incredible video to promote their production of the play The Strangers' Case, and it just happened to come out on World Refugee Day, and it just so happened to also coincide with Donald Trump's imprisonment of asylum seekers' children, and it also just so happened to feature refugee actors.

Action Item:

Read this article about the cowardice of white people and, if you are white, think about the times you have been a coward before you try to refute it with all the times you have not. (If you are not white, it might be useful to consider where you have fallen into the same traps of cowardice surrounding other issues.)

I'll start: my cowardice has mostly involved preserving a socially pleasant moment instead of challenging other people's racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever it may be. My natural inclination is towards peacemaking, and so I am pretty uncomfortable saying or doing things that will make people feel bad or create discord. Also, sometimes I am not sure if something is actually problematic, or if it just sounds like it might be, and I don't want to speak for people of colour so I say nothing.

I could argue that it sucks to "ruin the happy moment" for everyone, or I could recognize that it probably sucks more to be on the receiving end of those remarks. Also, I could put more effort into learning ways to point out problematic things without grinding every moment to a halt and making other people feel defensive. I know there are ways. Some people are very good at it.

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