Arm yourself with words

“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”

~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

History has given us the best resources from the brightest minds, and I’ve begun to collect them, devour them, commit as much of them as I can to memory. I’ll be posting books, lists, collections, as I catalog them, for now, in this spreadsheet. Eventually, the  list will be cataloged and moved to a more permanent location.

The pen has always been mightier than the sword,  but in an age where facts are detested, and lies are abundant, stocking your arsenal with words is the best thing you can do. To begin, look at any of these books:

Title Author Pub. Date
Animal Farm George Orwell 1945
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury 1953
1984 George Orwell 1949
Handmaid’s Tale Margret Atwood 1985
Brave New World Aldous Huxley 1932
A Wrinkle in Time Madeline L’Engle 1962
The Wave Tod Strasser 1981
It Can’t Happen Here Sinclare Lewis 1935
V for Vendetta Alan Moore 1989
The Long Walk Home Stephen King 1979
We Yevgeny Zamyatin 1924
The Circle David Eggers 2013
All the King’s Men Robert Penn Warren 1961
Rest in Power Tracy Martin 2017
On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance Howard Caygill 2013
Fighters in the Shadows Robert Gildea 2015
The Nightingale Kristin Hannah 2015
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS David France 2016
Hidden Figures Margot Lee Shetterly 2016
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age Amani Al-Khatahtbeh 2016
Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt Sarah Jaffe 2016
No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality Jordan Flaherty 2016
We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation Jeff Chang 2016

As the rising political generation, we must be calculating and cool. Remember your rage, but do not get consumed by it, and always, always, remember that they find pleasure in watching us burn. Gather yourself, stoke your fire, but be careful. We have to keep a calm, white-hot rage, not feed an inferno. Personal health- mental, emotional, and physical, is paramount in growing the resistance. As I’ve said before, we have three years and 10 months ahead of us. We’re running an iron man.

  • take breaks – netflix, casual reading, go for a run
  • always re-focus & center yourself – do not get caught up in rabbit trails or red herring arguments
  • admit when you’re wrong – it isn’t the end of the world if you misspoke or incorrectly cited, acknowledge it, fix it, and continue.
  • don’t rise to the bait, don’t stoop to their level
  • source your arguments – always make sure that you have citations and sources for points you’re making

Ice

I never have an issue with words. As Glennon Doyle Melton said, “Reading is my inhale, and writing is my exhale.”

However, over the past three weeks I’ve become frozen. My fingers are stiff, stuck to the keys like ice, the words crowded behind them like bodies shoved against locked doors with no way out.
My mind is sluggish, dizzy, unfocused, caught up in the whirlwind of emotions ruling my thoughts.
My body is on edge. While the color of my skin and my orientation grants me privilege to be shielded from much of the hate that has been brought into the light during the past year and a half, I am not blind to overlook the direct change and consequences that have roared into many of my friends’ and loved ones’ lives.

We have slim, weak glimmers of hope about the outcome. We have the mid-term elections. We have the few in Congress who are fighting tooth and nail to uphold the Constitution in the midst of the bought bureaucracy.

But still, we must be ready.

We must be ready to fight for our friends and family. If we have privilege, we must use it to its fullest to protect those that our broken society has marginalized and attempted to silence. The disenfranchised must be heard over us. We have been heard long enough. I have been comfortable in my privileged zone for far too long.

There are so many emotions trying to break free, sort themselves out, but there is not time.
The marathon as begun. The starting shot went off as soon as America swore in its 45th president. Already, our lands, our schools, our liberties, our equalities have been attacked, and we said no. We wrote, we marched, we called, we tweeted, shared, and posted. However, we cannot lose that fire. We cannot hold it so tightly that we get burned, letting it slip through our fingers to get crushed under foot. We have years left.
There is a difference between being angry and staying furious: a flash, an explosion that flings you into movement, or a quiet, seething heat that is stoked daily, kept hot and ready for the journey that lies ahead.

So research, plan, strategize, learn, and stay armed- armed to the teeth with books, statistics, quotes, dates, facts, figures, undeniable proof. Check sources twice, three times, and prepare yourself.
Study history, learn from the past, listen always, and build your arsenal.