Call It What It Is
Happy Wednesday, Activists ~
We hope your week is going well. We want to spend a moment understanding what happened in Buffalo on Saturday and what it means for our country and for us as a group. To be clear – this was not solely a mass shooting, or the isolated act of a disturbed individual, or simply America’s lax gun laws. This was a continuation of pernicious white supremacist conspiracy ideology: The Great Replacement Theory (GRT). You can read its history here, from its start in France to its purchase in the Republican party. The point now is to scare white Americans of the supposed destruction of the white race by people of color, immigrants, and Jews. And one extremist mass shooter after another has subscribed to this pernicious theory. How we have to view this Important for us now, so we keep our focus in this moment, is that we can’t ignore these rantings as “fringe” hate because they are not fringe – “it has moved to the center.” It is not hyperbole to say that GRT has become a major tenet of the Republican Party. As Rolling Stone has put it, The Buffalo Shooter Isn’t a ‘Lone Wolf.’ He's a Mainstream Republican. A few examples: The former president and current leader of the Republican Party saw “many fine people” when white nationalists chanted “Jews(you) will not replace us” in Charlottesville. Elise Stefanik (R. NY), the 3rd ranking House Republican, espouses GRT and doubled down on it after the Buffalo shooting. Other mainstream Republicans like Ron Johnson, Steve King, and others have adopted racist rhetoric and centered it in their appeal to voters. The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, refuses to denounce it even when asked directly yesterday.
And of course, Tucker Carlson overtly broadcasts this rhetoric directly into millions of viewer’s homes. So now what? The simple reality is that we have no choice but to win against this extremism. And the strongest power we have to fight right now is to expand our majorities with Democrats who will be fighters – for democracy, against racism, against antisemitism, against all forms of hate. And we need for all of us to be in this together. Ready to go? Sign up below.
REACH VOTERS WITH US This is how we win! Canvass The gold standard for getting voters to the polls is talking to them in person. So if you're worried about our future, you should try it out. And we make it easy for you! These are nice neighborhoods and friendly voters. They are non-Republican voters who just need to vote more often. Simple as that. Reply this email if you just want to chat about it! We train you. We give you all the materials you need. We pair you with a canvassing buddy. We give you a snack! 53rd Ward - Oxford Circle Date: This Saturday, May 21 Time: 11:00 am start Location: Oxford Circle. We’ll meet at Country Club Diner on Cottman Avenue Sign up here. Date: Saturday, May 28 Time: 11:00 am start Location: Oxford Circle. We’ll meet at Country Club Diner on Cottman Avenue Sign up here. 2nd Ward - Queen Village Date: Sunday, June 5 Time: 11:00 am Location: Cianfrani Park, 8th and Fitzwater St. Sign up here. 34th Ward - Overbrook Date: Saturday, June 11 Time: 11:00 am Location: Tustin Playground, 59th Street and Columbia Ave. Sign up here. Register Voters Philly AIDS Thrift Date: Saturday, June 4 - Sold out - thank you! More coming soon. Giovannis' Room Bookstore Date: Saturday, June 4 Time: Noon - 2:00 (one shift) Sign up here. See our other voter outreach programs below. Reply to this email to sign up: 1. 35 Doors Project! 2. Postcards!
And speaking of registering voters . . .
We had a great time at the Kensington Derby and Arts Festival this past weekend. As you can see from the photo we registered a lot of voters and talked to them about making a plan to vote. Thank you to all our volunteers who showed up and registered voters despite the rain! Check out more festival photos in this Billy Penn article too. Stay tuned for our next voter registration drive at another festival coming soon!
CALL TO ACTION There apparently is momentum for some senators putting pressure on President Biden to cancel $50,000 of student debt. We need for him to use his executive power to do this. And pressure has been building from student activists and others as well. Call or email Senator Casey and tell him you want him to tell Biden that he needs to cancel $50,000 of student debt. Phila. office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324; email link. Call the White House comment line 202-456-1111. It’s open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11am-3pm Eastern. Email the White House at www.whitehouse.gov/contact
ROE V. WADE - HELP WOMEN GET SERVICES THEY NEED When Roe falls, 26 states are in line to criminalize abortion with 13 of those states already having laws on the books that impose that change immediately. The demand on local abortion funds will increase immediately with some Americans needing to travel hundreds of miles in order to make a personal medical decision. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute has calculated that if abortion becomes illegal in Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, and Kentucky there would be a 1,200% increase in people whose nearest abortion provider is in Pennsylvania. Find our list of organizations around the country that you can support to help the most vulnerable women in need of services to avoid forced births.
COMING SOON! We are scheduling another meeting with Kathryn Kolbert, the co-author of Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom. She and her co-author, Julie Kay, spoke to us last November and it was a hugely successful meeting. In 1992, Kolbert argued before the U. S. Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the seminal case that challenged five abortion regulations in Pennsylvania. The ruling modified but upheld the rights established in Roe v. Wade. Watch the video from that meeting with Kathryn's advice for this moment. This will be held in July, after the Roe ruling is formally issued by the Supreme Court, expected at the end of June. Stay tuned for more information on this timely and informative meeting soon.