Where To Donate To Help People Vulnerable To A Trump/Pence White House
Welcome to the age of Trump. We have no idea what his intentions are because of politics. What we do know is that a large contingent of Trump’s support, the people who voted him in under the pretense that he also had objectionable beliefs about ‘other’ people, want to bring back an America that reeks of racism, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry. In John Oliver’s last show of 2016 he made an action call to respond to Trumpism with donations to charities. Now, I’m not a person that believes that philanthropy is activism. I’m more the type to consider it as a form of self-gratification and self-affirmation. I regularly give ‘loandations’ through Kiva, a microfinance charity, and I will irregularly donate to the International Rescue Committee, wildlife protection foundations, and organizations that engage in direct action against the fossil fuel industry. I do it for self-gratification and self-affirmation, and to help pay for cool things to happen.
Since I consider the armies of Trumpism to be dangerous I’m publishing this article to review the civil society organizations that Oliver recommends to respond to attacks on women’s access to abortions and healthcare, the environment, refugee populations, non-white communities, LGBTQ communities, and the free press.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) – DONATE
Planned Parenthood helps vulnerable Americans get access to sexual health services. In the financial year ending in 2015 they performed almost 9.5 million services and spent over $1 billion on programs. The misconception that PPFA is a drive-through abortion center is based heavily in propaganda. The organization spends roughly 3% of its medical services budget on providing abortions. Over three-quarters of their medical services in FY 13/14 went to STI tests and treatment (45%) and contraception (31%). Despite this discrepancy between fact and propaganda, the religious right has been engaged in a constant assault on the women’s sexual health charity. The Vice-President-Elect Mike Pence is a former Indiana Governor with a history of opposing abortion rights and Planned Parenthood. An HIV epidemic hit Indiana a few years after Pence led efforts to demonize PPFA’s clinics in the State and cut their funding in 2011. His attitude on the issue hasn’t changed and the President-Elect has also suggested (and then walked-back his statement) that women should be punished for getting an abortion. Supporters of women’s right to access abortions and sexual health services have plenty of reasons to donate to charities defending these interests.
Services:- birth control and long-acting reversible contraception, emergency contraception, breast and cervical cancer screening, pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, sex education, vasectomies, LGBT services, and abortions.
DONATE to PPFA
Center For Reproductive Rights (CRR) – DONATE
The CRR is another NGO positioned to defend women’s reproductive rights from the religious fundamentalists gearing up to turn America and its laws into Christian-God-fearing institutions. The organization works internationally to provide legal defenses in cases that would restrict women’s access to sexual health treatments and to support legislation that expands their rights to these services. Their FY 14/15 programs expenses amounted to $17 million (80% of their operating budget) and were bolstered by over $7 million worth of Pro Bono legal assistance.
Services:- legal advocacy to advance reproductive rights.
DONATE to CRR
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – DONATE
The climate change sector of civil society was in for a massive ass-kicking no matter who won this election. The news that the atmosphere passed the 400 parts per million of CO2 faultline was terrible news for any informed optimists in the climate battle. The Democrats’ pro-fracking stance and the Republicans’ climate change denial stance are both seemingly unsurpassable obstacles to team survive-as-a-species. With Trump/Pence’s all-in on fossil fuel apocalypse plans the NRDC and their kin could use a hard drink and a lot of comforting words. Failing that, they could use funds to run their environmental advocacy programs.
Services:- climate and clean air, Save the Bees Initiative, health, international issues, land, nuclear weapons and energy safety, urban issues, and water and ocean.
DONATE to the NRDC
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) – DONATE
IRAP is a law-student-led organization that provides asylum seekers with the resources and representation to facilitate their legal transition into America. The organization is part of New York City’s Urban Justice Center. An umbrella organization for 10 NGOs that provide legal services and issue advocacy to vulnerable populations. A centerpiece of the Trump/Pence ticket to the White House was a campaign promise to suspend immigration from Libya and Syria, and to make asylum seekers go through an ‘extreme vetting process’ to be allowed entry into the country. IRAP and other refugee assistance providers will be stretched to protect their vulnerable clients under the next administration.
Services:- legal services and advocacy for asylum seekers.
DONATE to IRAP
NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) – DONATE
From the LDF website’s What We Do section:
- Diminish the role of race in the criminal justice system and the role of the criminal justice system in community life;
- Increase fairness and African-American participation in all aspects of economic life;
- Increase equity in education and eliminate tolerance for schools that fail students; and
- Achieve full African-American civic engagement and participation in the democratic process.
This election season was surrounded by a conversation about police violence and race that was framed by two BLMs; Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter (also All Lives Matter). Two of those perspectives (Blue and All) tacitly attempt to undercut the actually issue, which is that police commonly kill unarmed black people without facing reasonable charges. Since Trump was elected white supremacist and far-right organizations around the world have openly celebrated, this includes the Ku Klux Klan and the National Policy Institute. These endorsements are illustrated by a rise in hate crimes against people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ identifying people. Many of these crimes have been documented at the tumblr This Is Not Fine. In 2009 and 2010 LDF spent around $10 million on legal representation, public information, and legal training programs. These trends must have the LDF gearing up for at least four years of constant work to protect the black community in America, and they will need funds to be successful.
Services:- legal assistance, legal training, issue awareness, and legislative campaigns.
DONATE to the NAACP LDF
The Trevor Project (TreP) – DONATE
TreP provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. They were named after a child who attempted suicide after his social group rejected him because of his sexuality. The organization and its necessity brings us back to Mike Pence and his wacky fairy-tale-based beliefs. America’s next VP is a fan of conversion therapy for gay people. He also signed a bill which allows businesspeople to deny service to people based on their religious convictions. This issue is illustrated by the case of a christian cake decorator from Denver refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding because of his distaste for homosexuality. In 2010 TreP spent $4.5 million, or 80% of their budget, on programs and, as with all of these cases, one can only imagine the resources they will need in the America of 2017.
Services:- crisis intervention lines, suicide prevention trainings and resources, community resources.
DONATE to TreP
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) – DONATE
America’s President-Elect began his campaign in the most outrageous way that I imagine he could imagine. He called (not all) Mexicans rapists and criminals and promised to build a wall. It was outrageous, it was attention grabbing, and the audacity of the speech might have been what won him the election on day one. The empowerment of racists will be what I take away from Trump’s campaign. The anti-trade, anti-interventionist rhetoric was a populist trap for American’s sick of its corporate government. It was also, most likely (a prediction from November 2016), a lie. MALDEF refers to itself as the “law firm of the Latino community”. Their programs have helped immigrants get legal representation, challenged discriminatory voting reforms and protected the voting rights of vulnerable communities, created and distributed resources to vulnerable communities to help individuals to understand their rights, and supported measures to protect latino workers and fair employment practices. Donate to MALDEF to provide resources for Latino immigrants to be safe and allow them to contribute to the American economy with fair protection.
Services:- advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.
DONATE to MALDEF
ProPublica – DONATE
ProPublica’s mission: “To expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.”
The major American news sources have lost the public’s trust and lost the resources to perform the duties of a check on corporate and government power. This is especially highlighted in a campaign season where major media interests and political campaigns were caught coordinating coverage and access to the candidate, in an America where news publishers, whose parroting of government talking points allowed America to enter at least one war (Iraq) under false pretenses, survive and continue to spout news, in a news landscape where viewers of sardonic, newstainment shows such as the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight are surveyed as being more informed than 24-hour news channel viewers. The Pulitzer Prize winning work of ProPublica under a Trump Presidency will be a necessary check on the State and Corporate powers ascending the throne. Review their work in the ProPublica 2015 Report.
Services:- unbiased investigative journalism in the public interest.
DONATE to ProPublica
The next four years will bring conflicts about all of the issues of social justice into the streets. There has already been blood and there will be more. White supremacy, misogyny, and environmental destruction have been major drivers of imperialism throughout history. With the election of a man who embodies all of these aspects of cultural ignorance into a seat that some like to call the most powerful in the world, American society is headed into an animated discussion whose end is unpredictable. Civil society has filled in for government’s disinterest in addressing these inequalities and it will be overwhelmed in the next four years. So take British-Beaker’s advice and donate to an organization from or related to the list above. Make it a repeating donation if possible.