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Building a just future, for all of us

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jan 11, 2018 08:47 PM |

Lindsay Schubiner joins Western States Center as a program director, to focus on bridging research, leadership development and organizing so that communities can build effective campaigns that disrupt white nationalism’s ascent.

Building a just future, for all of us

Lindsay Schubiner

Hello, I’m Lindsay Schubiner. 

Beginning in February, I will join Western States Center to launch a new initiative designed to counter the dangerous ascension of white nationalism and hate violence across the country. 

Nearly five years ago, I sat in a dismal immigration court room listening to a judge’s procedural decision about my partner’s deportation case. I had never before felt so utterly at the mercy of forces beyond my control. It was an appalling experience. This was before DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented state same-gender marriage laws from being recognized at the federal level) was overturned, so as a queer couple we could not get married and provide my partner status to remain united. We were up against laws designed to maintain social control over portions of the population of the United States and they were created to unfairly maintain a white majority.

I had known intellectually that systemic white supremacy destroyed families and bodies and lives, but I had never felt the visceral lack of agency, the helplessness, that I did that day.

“Our future is up for grabs, and each of us has a stake in what happens next. This is a moment that calls on all of us to choose our place in history. We don’t have to live in the nightmare that is being proposed by white nationalism.”

The white nationalist movement is an evolution of that history, and it represents a unique threat. Five years ago, white nationalism was a dangerous but marginal movement that influenced politics largely through anti-immigrant groups and xenophobic fear mongering. Today, this movement has built on these heinous strategies with the goal of creating a white-only ethno-state.

After that day in court, I looked around me and many undocumented people were leading the way, despite having a lot more to lose. So, I followed their lead and got to work.

I believe it is important that we know exactly who is behind exclusionary ideas and policies, so we can create a blueprint for stopping their influence and building the communities that exemplify freedom for all people. For the past three years, I have worked to expose white nationalism and its xenophobic influence on U.S. policies. I have written about nativists’ ascension to the White House and talked about their infiltration of law enforcement.

Paying such close attention to hate can be ugly work. But for me, it’s also work rooted in a deep sense of optimism, possibility, and hope. 

Five years ago, white nationalism was a dangerous but marginal movement that influenced politics largely through anti-immigrant groups and xenophobic fear mongering. Today, this movement has built on these heinous strategies with the goal of creating a white-only ethno-state.

This is exactly the type of work we will build upon with the project I’ll lead at Western States Center. We will focus on bridging research, leadership development and organizing so that communities can build effective campaigns that disrupt white nationalist alignment.

Our future is up for grabs, and each of us has a stake in what happens next. There are steadily increasing attacks on our communities. As a queer, Jewish woman -- and the partner of an immigrant, some of these attacks directly impact me and some don’t. But this is a moment that calls on all of us to choose our place in history. We don’t have to live in the nightmare that is being proposed by white nationalism. We can create an inclusive future that is people-centered, accountable and transparent. One filled with opportunity and hope.

I’m looking forward to joining with you to build a just future, for all of us.

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