Awareness

Native Lands

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Your DGB for today is to learn about the indigenous history of the land you live on.

When white people came to the Americas, they outright killed or displaced nearly all indigenous tribes. You can read about The Trail of Tears here: https://www.history.com/news/history-lists/7-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-trail-of-tears

We seek to honor and acknowledge those that were killed and displaced and who still seek to be treated humanely by the US government. One way to do that is to acknowledge the ancestral lands we all live on that were stolen. You can go to this website https://native-land.ca and enter your zip code and it will tell you what native tribe lived there. If you click on the tribe, it will tell you more about their people.

If you wish to further help indigenous people, you can find different tips on this website: http://www.powwows.com/can-help-native-americans/ such as purchasing items made by indigenous people, donating to verified charities, learning more about their history, and speaking up about their causes.

We can never undo the damage done to the indigenous community, but we can work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

“Maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

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Your DGB for today is to support Factcheck.org, a journalistic outlet doing important work in the era of Trump.

The free press is under attack in the United States. The US Dept. of Justice has recently removed language in an internal policy and procedures manual about the importance of press freedom. And we have a POTUS who praises and cozies up to autocrats who kill and jail journalists, while simultaneously telling over 2,000 lies in his first year in office and calling our own press the enemies of America. The first amendment has never been more important. Good journalists busting their tails to fact-check politicians in the face of unprecedented efforts to silence them have never been more important.

Bookmark Factcheck.org on your browser. Subscribe to the RSS feed. Follow on Twitter. Keep it handy whenever anyone in the Trump administration opens their mouth and words come out - you’ll need it.

Ps: The White House Correspondents Dinner is predicated on the idea that the press and the White House can put aside their somewhat adversarial relationship and come together for a night of convivial joke-telling. Michelle Wolf’s real crime wasn’t in mentioning the Press Secretary’s cosmetics; it was in calling out the elephant in the room - there IS no coming together with an administration that is in open warfare with the free press. Wolf shouldn’t apologize and neither should the WHCD.

 

Stop Weaponizing Your Tears

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Your DGB for today is to do some reading and reflecting on the damaging ways white women use their emotions against People of Color.

The recent event in Starbucks where two Black men were arrested for no reason has prompted a powerful discussion of the ways that white people, particularly women, use emotional manipulation (dubbed acutely White Woman Tears) to terrorize People of Color. The Starbucks travesty isn’t even the most terrible example of this, that same DAY near Detroit a 14 year-old Black boy got lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood and knocked on a door to ask for directions. The white woman homeowner freaked out, subsequently inspiring her husband to grab a gun and shoot at the poor kid, nearly killing him.

These stories have prompted blog posts, Twitter threads and Facebook posts from People of Color relating stories of white women acting like jerks and generally making their lives miserable. This nonsense needs to stop. Please take today to read some pieces on the phenomenon and think about how your own actions and reactions need to change.

This piece from Shay Stewart-Bouley (Black Girl in Maine): http://blackgirlinmaine.com/racial-and-cultural/weapon-of-lass-destruction-the-tears-of-a-white-woman/

This post by Luvvie Ajayi (Awesomely Luvvie): https://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2018/04/weaponizing-white-women-tears.html

This article by Louisa Leontiades (for the body is not an apology): https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/dear-white-women-why-we-need-to-stop-crying-when-poc-call-us-out/

 

What’s the Cost of Living?

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Your DGB for today is to discover the true cost of living in your area.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one: “Poor people should try cutting back on expenses.” This slice of profound wisdom is usually coupled with pearls like having too many kids/iPhones/cigarettes/luxury cars is the reason people can’t afford housing or health care. And it sure seems like everyone is staring down at a smartphone these days, amirite? So what are the economic facts when it comes to living a modest life in our country? Are people really spending too much on avocado toast? The EPI has compiled massive amounts of data about the cost-of-living in the U.S. and were nice enough to create a handy calculator to tell you what it takes to afford a decent life where you live. The results may surprise you.

Here is the calculator: https://www.epi.org/resources/budget/

Looking up what it takes to get by will likely inspire you to agree that our workers need a raise. The Brookings Institute states that after adjusting for inflation, wages are only 10% higher than they were in the 1970s. Follow up the Grab today by supporting organizations like Fight for $15 that works to increase Federal, state and local minimum wage requirements to $15 an hour. You can support unions by buying their products, telling your politicians to vote for their requests and boycotting companies that treat workers poorly.

 

Believe These Women

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Your DGB for today is to share this list of women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump.

Today is International Women’s Day and we think it’s the perfect time to amplify the voices of these 21 (and counting) women, listed chronologically by year of assault.

 

1980s: Jessica Leeds

1989: Ivana Trump

1990s: Kristin Anderson

1993: Jill Harth

1994: “Jane Doe”

1996: Lisa Boyne

1997: Mariah Billado

         Cathy Heller

         Temple Taggart McDowell

1998: Karena Virginia

2000: Bridget Sullivan

2001: Tasha Dixon

2003: Mindy McGillivray

2005: Rachel Crooks

         Jennifer Murphy

         Natasha Stoynoff

2006: Jessica Drake

         Samantha Holvey

         Ninni Laaksonen

2007: Summer Zervos

Around 2013: Cassandra Searles

 

Keep in mind that studies indicate fewer than 10% of reported cases of sexual violence are false allegations. This is a decades-long case worthy of Olivia Benson and, more importantly and in real life, Congress.

 

Blood Money Talks

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Your DGB for today is to support companies who have changed aspects of their business in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

 

Companies that have removed discounts/deals for NRA members:

 

United Airlines

Delta Airlines

Hertz

Enterprise

Avis/Budget

TrueCar

Symantec

SimpliSafe

MetLife

Allied Van Lines

Paramount Rx

Best Western

Wyndham Hotel Group

Starkey Hearing Technologies

 

Stores that have changed their gun sale policies:

 

Walmart

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Kroger

LL Bean

 

Other Companies that have ended NRA-related affiliations:

 

First National Bank of Omaha

Republic Bank

 

Please tweet us with any additions to this list and we’ll update!

 

 

Teaching Hard History: Slavery

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Your DGB for today is to take this short quiz on the history of slavery in the United States. We’re just warning you - unless you had an extraordinary history teacher or went out of your way to learn about it outside of class, you’re unlikely to score well. American slavery is not a subject well-covered in most classrooms, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Teaching Tolerance” project wants to change that. As they say, “[Most] students lack a basic knowledge of the important role it played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America.” We can’t really hope to dismantle white supremacy if we don’t fully understand our history.

After completing the quiz, you’ll be directed to resources for both students and teachers on how to fill in these knowledge gaps, including a report on the state of American education in this area and a suggested curriculum. We strongly encourage you to check out the section on primary sources from the era.

At DGB, we think it’s never too late to go back to school… unless it’s “mystery meat” day in the cafeteria. Okay, then - pack a brown bag lunch, sharpen your pencils, and open your test booklets to page one.

 

Internet Access for All

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Your DGB for today is to learn about the digital gap and support an organization that is trying to close it.

Imagine for a moment what your life here in late 2017 would look like right now if you had no Internet access. How would it change? The Internet provides entertainment, news, information, communication, and of course... DGB. But Internet connections are still relatively expensive and in some places not even available. It might surprise you to know that in some particularly impoverished areas of Detroit there is no Internet infrastructure. Lack of Internet access has powerful and negative implications that keep people poor. You can read more about the issue here: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kz3xyz/detroit-mesh-network?utm_source=mbtwitter and here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/technology/unemployed-detroit-residents-are-trapped-by-a-digital-divide.html?_r=2.

One organization is attempting to remove this massive obstacle. They set up free wireless hotspots in Detroit communities with this problem. Please check out their important work here: http://detroitcommunitytech.org/eii. Can you help them by kicking over a few dollars? Then go here: https://www.alliedmedia.org/dctp/donate

Grab back and get people some Internet!

 

#metoo

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Your DGB for today is to give credit where it’s due.

Last week, a social media movement occurred. Thousands of sexual assault survivors were inspired to share stories or comments about their experiences under the hashtag, metoo. Several news outlets originally pinpointed actor Alyssa Milano as the originator. However, it was later revealed that a woman name Tarana Burke started a very similar MeToo movement back in 2007 and has also built a social justice organization that works to build up the health and wellbeing of girls of color called Just Be Inc.

Please go to the website here and learn more about Burke’s story and Just Be Inc.’s MeToo program. http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/the-me-too-movement-cmml 

If you were moved to #metoo, please follow up with a Tweet or status about Just Be Inc. and Tarana Burke so we can be sure that her work is known.

And donations are always great, too. Here’s where you can help Just Be Inc. with a monetary kindness: http://justbeinc.wixsite.com/justbeinc/donate

Grab back and credit the #metoo!

 

Police Use Of Force Project

Your DGB for today is to disseminate the findings of the Police Use Of Force Project.

In particular, police departments with more restrictive use of force policies enjoy a lower rate of assault on officers, including fewer officers being killed in the line of duty. More statistics and analysis can be found on their website, but DGB thinks this particular one has broad and bipartisan appeal. Share with your social media circle, use it in debate, bring it up over dinner.

 

 

As it turns out, “blue lives matter” and ending police violence aren’t divergent goals. More policies to protect and preserve life benefit all lives and all communities.

 

 

World Hepatitis Day

Your DGB for today is to observe World Hepatitis Day.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus and it's a worldwide epidemic, killing about as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, with 80-90% of those infected unaware of their status. Hepatitis A and E are spread mainly by contaminated water, while B and C are primarily contracted by blood to blood contact.

The best ways to help eradicate these viruses are to vaccinate our children, support clean needle programs, and conserve and protect water, all things which are regressing under our Trumptatorship.

These types of activism also help to control, prevent, and extinguish many other types of disease. So, unless enough people start to care about these causes, we are probably all going to die soon. Enjoy your weekend!

 

 

It's Getting Hot in Herre

Your DGB for today is to fight this extreme heat and spread some sweet relief.

Thanks to The Chinese Hoax, otherwise known as climate change, locations throughout our country and planet have recently suffered extremely hot temperatures, and not the Nelly kind. Arizona and the Southwest have seen record setting highs, grounding airplanes and generally making life miserable for those that live there (prompting us to ask, HOW DO THEY?!). Even if you aren’t being melted in the desert, this is a hot and nasty time of year for much of the U.S. What we would like you to do today is to help relieve the heat for your fellow sufferers.

The homeless can be hit the hardest by extreme temperatures. Please consider putting together a resource bag to pass out containing bottled water (freeze until you are ready to leave the house!), some light snacks like energy bars, fruit, and a pair or two of socks. Socks will help protect the feet from hot pavement and wick away some of the sweat. Other items like baby wipes and sunscreen are also useful.

Bone up on your heat-induced illness knowledge by checking out the signs and symptoms from the CDC here: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

Download the CDC’s helpful heat illness first aid suggestions and post somewhere you can refer to them easily: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/2017-128.pdf

Don’t forget that birds and other wild animals also suffer during heat waves. Keep your birdbaths and feeders on your penthouse rooftop where birds are feedin’ at the top of the Fo’ Seasons full of fresh water and food so they can stay healthy too.

 

Rachel Maddow and the Fake News That Almost Was

Your DGB for today is to watch this 21 minute clip from a recent episode of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and then share it via social media.

On the July 6th episode of her show, Maddow describes how a “carefully forged” top secret NSA document was sent in to her tip-line website that seems to be a big, juicy scoop about who in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to hack the 2016 elections. She outlines why she and her staff believe it is a fake, and she explains why someone might want her show to run this story, based on a ginned-up NSA document. Maddow believes that someone [insert chin rubbing emoji here] wants to discredit her show and the media in general as it pertains to the Russian election-meddling AND possible collusion by the Trump campaign in that effort.

After you’ve watched the clip and shared it far and wide, go ahead and tell Rachel what a great job she’s doing. The lady has been on FIRE since the election and we should tell her so: @Maddow on Twitter, rachel@msnbc.com via email, or:

 

The Rachel Maddow Show

Floor 4 West

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

(don’t forget we have downloadable postcards if you go the postal route)

 

Rachel wants other news organizations to be on the look-out for similar attempts to trick the media into reporting on false stories. And we want YOU to watch so that you can better understand what the media is up against when it comes to reporting on this administration. Now that it’s clear President Twitterthumbs has help in his campaign to discredit the press, we all need to be more awake than ever.  

 

It’s Canada Day, eh!

Your DGB for today is to watch this video gone viral posted by Brittlestar (if you haven’t already seen it) - hopefully you’ll have a laugh and learn a little something about our neighbors to the north.

In honor of our token Canuck at DGB, we thought we’d lighten it up and have you watch a quick video regarding the things Canadians celebrate on Canada Day. If, however, this video is NOT amusing to you and instead sends you into yet another downward spiral of despair that we’ve all been having bouts of since November, remember Canada had to endure several years of Stephen Harper while America got to enjoy Obama. Oh, how the tables have turned *sob*. We won’t make the cliche joke about moving to Canada, however, because DGB is committed to the cause of fighting to the bitter end to protect our fellow Americans from 45.

So, sit back on this lovely Canada Day, drink a beer, eat poutine, and let the sweet vocal styling of Justin Bieber lull you into a (false) sense of contentedness just for today.

 

Living the American Dream

Your DGB for today is to discover your American Dream Score.

Are you a bootstrapper? Graduate of the School of Hard Knocks? Born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Maybe you’ve always considered yourself an Average Joe/Joan. When pursuing the American Dream, which is loosely defined as moving up the socioeconomic ladder, but also might mean maintaining the rung you were born on, we often underestimate the role that luck plays in our success or failure. Yes, luck. Fate, destiny, foreshadowing - here in America we like to brand ourselves as rugged individuals in complete control of our future through a series of carefully made choices. But that is simply not the case. Pure, dumb circumstances of birth, health, and timing play significant roles in determining how well we do as individuals.

The progressive agenda seeks to help balance those impacts to assist every human in realizing their potential. In order to understand this, it’s important to see how our own life has been impacted by chance. Please use a few minutes to take this quiz from Moving Up USA to get your American Dream score: https://movingupusa.com

There is nothing inherently wrong with being born with privilege. But if we want a fair and just society we need to recognize where it exists, and where it doesn’t.

 

 

Beach Bodies

Your DGB for today is super simple: don’t stare. That’s it! It’s summer and with the warm weather, we’re a lot more likely to see a lot more of our fellow humans, at the beach or elsewhere. Not everyone is going to look like a supermodel… and that is okay. Don’t judge, and don’t stare. 

There are quite a few memes and thought-pieces on the theme of body positivity. Most of them view the matter through the lens of size-acceptance, which is a powerful and important movement we support wholeheartedly. But fat bodies are not the only bodies you may see at the beach.

You may see people born with limb differences, people who have survived a fire, veterans who have been injured, people with neurological differences who hold their bodies differently, people whose skin bears birthmarks or stretch marks or unusual pigmentation, and/or people who use prostheses or other assistance devices. These people may even be you. We want to affirm that *every* person at the beach has a “beach body” and every person deserves to occupy that body at the beach without ridicule, whispers, or being stared at.

So don’t stare. And if you see someone staring at you, remember that you have every right to be out in the world and they can go pound sand. Take back the beach - for everyone!

 

Vice Crook

  Your DGB for today is to share this    story    about Mike Pence’s governing abilities across social media.     If you’re like us, you may be looking into our country’s post-Trump future and emotionally eating over the thought of President Pence. Well, we can look to Pence’s governorship of Indiana as an indication of his style of leadership, which is not all that different than his boss’. You see, Mike has a habit of promising people money he doesn’t have, screwing them over, and leaving failed ventures behind. In short, Pence celebrated Indiana’s bicentennial by getting the ball rolling on nearly 60 million dollars worth of fancy plazas and various other commemorative construction plans, promising creative budgeting to fund the projects. The money never showed up, and Indiana lawmakers are now bailing out the former Governor on the taxpayers’ dime. Great job, Mike.      Today being our 200th Grab, we at DGB looked into constructing our own bicentennial plaza, but, like most people who can’t afford something, we didn’t spend money we don’t have.

Your DGB for today is to share this story about Mike Pence’s governing abilities across social media.

If you’re like us, you may be looking into our country’s post-Trump future and emotionally eating over the thought of President Pence. Well, we can look to Pence’s governorship of Indiana as an indication of his style of leadership, which is not all that different than his boss’. You see, Mike has a habit of promising people money he doesn’t have, screwing them over, and leaving failed ventures behind. In short, Pence celebrated Indiana’s bicentennial by getting the ball rolling on nearly 60 million dollars worth of fancy plazas and various other commemorative construction plans, promising creative budgeting to fund the projects. The money never showed up, and Indiana lawmakers are now bailing out the former Governor on the taxpayers’ dime. Great job, Mike.

 Today being our 200th Grab, we at DGB looked into constructing our own bicentennial plaza, but, like most people who can’t afford something, we didn’t spend money we don’t have.

Living on SNAP

Your DGB for today is to learn about the SNAP benefits program and educate yourself about some of the myths and stereotypes.

Approximately 16% of the population of the United States receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). About half of those receiving SNAP are households where at least one adult is working. 40% of households who receive SNAP are white, and the majority of households that receive SNAP have either children, disabled, or elderly people living in the home. SNAP also has a time limit for receiving benefits if you are an able-bodied adult without dependents. If you are not working, you can only receive SNAP for three months in a three year period. So no, people on SNAP are not just “freeloaders,” because the system is set up to deter - not promote - that, contrary to many stereotypes. 70% of households with children on SNAP have at least one working adult. 

It’s important to note what people can and can’t buy on SNAP. You can’t purchase any non-food items on SNAP, and despite claims, no, you can’t purchase any alcohol or cigarettes with your SNAP benefits. SNAP also allows you to buy seeds, so beneficiaries can grow their own food, increasing the amount of healthy food coming into their home without drastically increasing how much they have to spend. 

So now that you are informed about SNAP, what else can you do to help or educate yourself? You can try to go a week on a SNAP budget, which ends up being roughly four dollars a day, per person. We aren’t asking you to do a Gwyneth Paltrow attempt at living off a foodstamps, but really research what people on SNAP cook and eat, and what added difficulties many have, like not having a car to grocery shop, living in a food desert, or having limited amounts of time to cook because you are working one or two jobs.

If you want to go even farther, consider donating your family’s approximate daily or weekly SNAP benefits to a local food bank, because many people still have to supplement their diets. For a family of four, that’s $16 for a day or $112 for the week. Benefits are in jeopardy because of the current administration and its horrific budget plans, so it’s more important than ever that we learn how important SNAP is to those who need the help. Grab back armed with facts, and dispel some of those food stamp myths.

 

Intersectionality Isn’t Just About Race - No TERF

Your DGB for today is to print out this list of ways to be a good ally to transgender folks, for yourself and/or people around you.

Recently the term “TERF” has been circulating social media, partly because of comments by prominent feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminism, and it’s an extremist movement that seeks to erase and silence trans women by claiming they are not “real women.” This article breaks down the issue:

Here at DGB we urge our Grabbers to make sure their feminism is intersectional and their social justice concerns are inclusive; resisting the tenets of TERF is part of that.

If you want to do even more, please consider supporting Trans Lobby Day, which is coming up on June 8th/9th. Trans women are real women, and real women are powerful.

 

Combat Colorism

Your DGB for today is to educate yourself on colorism, and support the fight against it by purchasing a t-shirt for a kid you know. If you don’t know any kids of color, consider buying one to donate to the next clothing drive in your community. Everyone deserves to feel good about the skin they’re in.

According to Alice Walker, colorism is the “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” The effect is devastating, especially on young girls. After being bullied for her dark skin at school, 10 year-old Keris Rogers started her own line of t-shirts, Flexin’ In My Complexion. Her positive message about skin color has the potential to inspire and empower other kids. 

We adults can’t just stand by and let little girls save the world all by themselves. We must make fighting colorism a part of our commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism. Let’s make sure every girl knows she’s beautiful, fierce, and perfect just the way she is.