I've been reading Let The Record show: A Political History Of Act Up New York, 1987-1993.
I made a post here recently about some ideas in the book.
A concept explored in the book is acceptance of distressing facts. Here is what author Sarah Schulman writes:
"Acceptance is an essential part of effective political action. It doesn't mean defeat, withdrawal or diminishment, but rather a necessary recognition of conditions as they actually are, so as to better address them.......Here we see how Act Up's reality-driven culture.....The necessarily radical, non punitive and lifesaving approach to the problem of HIV transmission through sharing needles relied on Act Up'ers lived experiences of narcotics and illegal drug use, developed in the context of realistically facing, without judgment or idealism, the mass death experience that was every day in the lives of AIDS activists."
The acceptance of a harsh reality is essential to our fight for democracy in Houston and Harris County, in Texas and across the nation.
If you'd told me 30 years ago, when I was in my 20's, that in 2023 Roe would be gone, the Voting Rights Act mostly gone, that we had messed up the weather and we'd be fighting for free elections--I'd not have been happy.
But these are the facts that we must grasp are real.
We see open defiance of the Supreme Court by the State of Alabama regarding what is left of the Voting Rights Act & the increasing likelihood of an impeachment effort against a newly elected Democratic Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice by a far-right gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature.
Law enforcement unions are moving further and further to the right. They are looking to bypass multi-racial democracy in cities and counties to appeal to authoritarian state governments.
There is no reason to trust that the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives would accept Joe Biden winning re-election next year or that the Texas legislature would certify a Ted Cruz defeat.
A large majority of Republican voters don't accept the 2020 election outcome as legitimate and Republican frontrunner for President, Donald Trump, is open and clear about his second term plans of dismantling the Federal Government and vengeance against opponents.
Locally, we've lost our Houston elected school board in what just 60 years ago was a Jim Crow city & Harris County Republicans are still in court trying to undo 2022 election results.
I don't believe we've been defeated or that we can't turn events around. The Houston Democracy Project is an act of optimism.
But we must accept where we are and act with the urgency required to protect ourselves and to save our futures. This involves voting, insisting that the Democrats we vote for are willing to fight for us, understanding that we may need to be on the streets and having confidence in ourselves that we can impact and make better the course of events.
The Houston Democracy Project is working everyday to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics, and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
Please share word of the Project and support the effort with your donation.
I'm Neil Aquino