2018's Top Five Inspiring Moments

It has been another trying year but these are the victories and work that give me the fuel to keep fighting

#1 The Internet Exposes Racist Police Calls

There have been so many that we’ve got a whole new lexicon of nicknames for racists: from Bakesale Betty to Permit Patty. The incident at Starbucks last Spring woke people up to the problem of white folks calling the police on people of color, mostly Black, who are simply going about their lives. We got video now and that’s a good thing. I’m proud that rinkusen.com contributed to this awareness with Should I Call the Cops, and I’m looking forward to digging into real solutions to this threatening behavior that contributes to an atmosphere of racial terror.

#2 Women of Color Take the House (and other offices)

The dramatic rise of women of color running for (and holding) office inspires me. Altogether, women won more than 100 House seats, the most ever and giving Congress a whole new image. I can’t wait to see what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Deb Haaland are going to bring to the mix as they join progressive champions Pramila Jayapal and Karen Bass.

#3 The People's Defense

This Administration has been a horror show for immigrants, Muslims and everyone who might look stereotypically like either. The big picture sucks, but in the little picture I see so many people standing up for us that I have to get up myself. Sending $20 million to RAICES to help migrant children separated from their families at the border, surrounding ICE vans, housing undocumented people in churches, interrupting harassment of immigrants in grocery stores. Bravo people. Keep it up.

#4 The Year of the Artivist

Tough times can often bring great art. Beyond Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, Hollywood leaders like Charles King and Ava DuVernay are setting up the conditions for many more great movies on the big screen. I’m so proud of my friend Favianna Rodriguez, whose art graces the carton of Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream for the current era, Pecan Resist. And if you haven’t yet, check out Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman's For Freedoms series, where they make photographs featuring real people recreating the stages in Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms series. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear – the least any human being deserves.

#5 Loving on Each Other in Crisis

My community has been roiled by illness and mortality, often in just terrible circumstances. That has sucked. But gosh, the way we show up for each other gives me daily reminder of how to be a good person. We buy wheelchairs, we cook food, we provide hugs, we buy massages, we fund hospice, we take care. Asking for and receiving these blessings is also not the easiest, but we show tremendous grace there too. No examples here, but if you received or gave in this way, you already know who you are. I am grateful for you.

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