Splitting my final two posts across the remaining eight states I have yet to revisit this year. Today we return to Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma. These are also reposts, but I hope you’ll join me in making donations to each of these organizations.
Red State: Montana
Focus: Human Rights
To promote democratic values such as pluralism, equality and justice; challenge bigotry and intolerance; and organize communities to speak out in support of democratic principles and institutions.
To challenge hate groups and other extremists who use violence and intimidation as tools for political activism.
The rise and normalization of white nationalism this election has been absolutely terrifying. Being from the Pacific Northwest I remember the skinheads and the aryan cults “east of the mountains”. This movement cannot continue. Groups that have faced down hate and bigotry firsthand are very important to learn from right now.
In response to white supremacist organizing in Montana in the late 1980s, local groups formed to counter hate activity in their communities. In June of 1990, activists from these groups came together to discuss effective strategies for statewide activity countering bigotry. The result was a commitment to form the Montana Human Rights Network. Over the years, as hate groups have appealed to the “hot-button” social issues of the mainstream, the Network has expanded its program to counter the efforts of the militias, freemen and other “patriots,” anti-Indian groups, anti-environmental activists, and the religious right in Montana.
Sadly, I think we’re going to need to form chapters in many states to combat the damage that’s coming.
What you can do:
Join me in making a donation today!
Red State: North Carolina
Focus: LGBTQ Rights
I assigned my non-profits and issues for each state over Thanksgiving weekend, which now seems ages ago in 2016 terms. I picked an LGBTQ rights organization to back because North Carolina was another state that became synonymous with “bathroom law” this year. The voters of the state did fight back and, despite going red at a federal level, they managed to oust the governor who backed HB2, although they have been unable to repeal the discriminatory law. But, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the GOP there are so dead set on their damaging agenda, they they blew up democracy in the state. There’s a long road ahead to rebuild from this damage and for groups like Equality NC to overcome. Thanks to these local folks for doing the very hard work.
Red State: Ohio
Focus: Voting rights
John Kasich has been on a steamroll lately. When I chose NEOCH, the bullshit “heartbeat bill” and its bait-and-switch partner, the 20-week abortion ban, had yet to fall on my radar. And this week Kasich went ahead and blocked the city of Cleveland from having its own $15 minimum wage. No, instead, in late-November, I was alerted to voting rights being stripped in Ohio, another preview of what’s to come. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless saw this coming and fought far before the election. They still need to fight, all while providing basic services to Ohio’s homeless population as the harsh Midwestern winter continues.
Red State: Oklahoma
Focus: Reproductive Rights
“The Oklahoma Religious Coalition affirms that no government nor group nor individual can take away a woman’s religious and constitutional right to choose. We are people of faith who believe in a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.”
Oklahoma made the news this week after a lawmaker dropped a requirement for businesses, schools, and more to put up anti-abortion bathroom signs , though the state still requires its department of public health strive for “an abortion-free society“. As you probably guessed the state doesn’t require sex education, but now requires an anti-abortion class in public schools. Good lord.
I couldn’t have been happier to find the Oklahoma Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an organization that manages to balance both faith in God and faith in women to make their own reproductive decisions. As the right wing uses the incoming administration as cover to pass more and more restrictive laws governing women’s bodies, we need to learn from groups like OKRCRC.
“One of the most important OKRCRC programs is the Roe Fund. This fund helps low and no income Oklahoma women obtain reproductive services—including abortion, referral and information. This important program is funded by your donations. Grants are paid directly to abortion providers. And the women who receive financial assistance write thank-you letters which, after changes have been made to protect their identities, may be used for fundraising. It’s hoped that when these women are more financially secure, they will make donations back to the fund.”