In many states where we've fought for justice, every single person in power was a Republican. We had to work with them. And sometimes we got results. Other times, everybody in power was a Democrat, and we got nothing. We have to be willing to work with whoever is in power to fight for change. Period.
In today’s political climate, there is no such thing as neutrality.
One is either a racist or an anti-racist, an activist or an oppressor. The election of Donald Trump only highlighted what many already knew to be true, America is a nation divided. The two-party system of Republicans and Democrats has always been a damaging one, but as both sides struggle to maintain political power, neither can agree on much of anything.
This refusal to work across party lines is more than a political stalemate, it is costing people their lives. Climate change bills are in dire need of being passed, government assistance programs must be mended and increased and the homelessness crisis in this country must be addressed. Sadly, neither side can agree on who should get help, why and how they should get that help, and most importantly, who will receive the credit.
Today, staff members from the Grassroots Law Project and families of those directly impacted by police violence are traveling to Washington, D.C.. Lee Merrit, legal director at Grassroots Law, is testifying in front of the Senate and appearing at the White House for the signing of an executive order that was created in response to the surge in protests against police brutality that continue to take place across the country. Many believe this is a useless endeavor, to try and cross party lines and work with the other side, but there is no other option.
It is not an option to wait for a Democratic president or Democrat-controlled Senate. We can campaign and vote for progressive Democrats on the local and national level, but that cannot be all we do. We need changes to happen right now. There is no more time. People have been pushed too far. Whether a law is passed by one party or the other is no longer a concern when Black and Brown bodies are paying the price for a political power game. Many of the cases Shaun and his team work on require help from deeply conservative mayors, governors, parole boards, and other officials. If Shaun had to turn away every family whose case required support from people across party lines, there would be no cases.
In today’s episode, Shaun breaks down what he’s learned about working with people who vehemently oppose his own beliefs, why it is necessary now, and what it means for the future.