Words of wisdom from Bernice King

Words of wisdom from Bernice King

Bernice King, a minister and youngest daughter of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, posted the above points on her Facebook account.

All the points are excellent guidelines for how to fight an authoritarian government. But there are a couple which stand out to me.

"6. No more helpless/hopeless talk." Of course this is going to come out the pen of the daughter of the great American martyr. Dr. King and his allies faced far more brutal tactics that we face now. There are no Bull Connors, no firehoses, no dogs let loose. This is not to say that we won't at times feel helpless/hopeless. But we can't wallow in those feelings. Too many people depend on us to take them by the hand and move them forward. Once defeatism enters our movement, we may as well turn the keys to the treasure house over to Donald Trump and his thieves.

"4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state." This is excellent advice. I wouldn't put a blanket ban on needling his lurid spray-tan or his obvious descent into insanity; the first deflates his sense of self; the second is actually of serious concern. However, this has to be done with a holistic attention to his policies. While we were all piling on Kellyanne Conway over the Bowling Green Massacre, Trump was rolling back Dodd-Frank regulation. We can't let metaphors like Conway become all-consuming distractions. We have to do both/and, not either/or.

"3. Do not argue with those who support him—it doesn't work." Milt Shook has written several pieces on how to engage the Right on social media. His advice? Don't. They want to egg you on, to make you waste energy on fighting them, to dampen your spirit. Our goal isn't to reach the deplorables; they're not going to change their minds. Our goals are to: 1) provide information to those who are on our side and keep them motivated; and 2) reach those who are persuadable, who may have no strong opinions but are feeling very uneasy at what's going on in the country. The amount of time you spend battling a Deplorable—whether of the Trump or Sanders or Stein variety—is time you've wasted on the unreachable. As Tom Perez said, we have to be strategic and tactical in how we engage on social media.

These are just some quick thoughts. Share your own in the comments.



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