Get Your Team Together!

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Last week was a stone-cold trip! So many important things happened, and it boggles the mind. I kept thinking about the movie title, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. The attacks on our freedom and democracy covered almost everything, came from everywhere, and seemed to be happening simultaneously. The dark side gave racism, misogyny, and oppression an even bigger stage than in prior weeks. Let’s review (just in case you were busy with other things):

  • After joining their constituents in a protest about gun violence, three state legislators in Tennessee were threatened with getting kicked out of the legislature. They joined their constituents and others who showed up at the state house demanding that the legislature take action against gun violence after the horrific school shooting in Nashville. But guess what? Only two of the legislators were actually kicked out of the legislature, leaving their communities without representation. Who were they? Two young Black men—Justin Jones of Nashville and Justin Pearson of Memphis. Who was allowed to keep her job to represent her community? You guessed it—Gloria Johnson—a white woman who also said the expulsion of her black colleagues was likely racially motivated. If you’re thinking, that’s some bullsh*t, you’re right. This week, the Nashville City Council may restore Jones’ right to represent them, but the state’s Republican leadership has said Nashville (and Memphis if they follow suit and return Pearson to the legislature) may lose vital funding and other support from the state. These actions are apparently not new to Tennessee politics—they have been drinking racism juice for a long time.
  • The integrity of the Supreme Court continues to fray, this time because of new evidence that Justice Clarence Thomas has received free luxury travel for decades from a wealthy Republican donor. What makes that so wrong? Well, he was supposed to report receiving such lavish gifts but hasn’t reported anything for YEARS! As of Friday, Justice Thomas hasn’t commented on the scandal, but House Democrats are calling for an investigation. Maybe now, we will have a long hard look at how Justice Thomas (and his wife Ginny) are being influenced by and using their influence to help folks who would gladly deprive us of many of our rights. 
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott is preparing to pardon Daniel Perry, who was CONVICTED of murdering Garrett Foster during a Black Lives Matter protest. So now this man facing a life sentence is likely to be pardoned by a group of people appointed by Governor Abbott. 
  • The foolishness continues in Texas when on Friday, federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an antiabortion Trump appointee, ruled that mifepristone, a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, was faulty and therefore must be withdrawn and its use banned. The FDA drug approval process is long and designed to prevent harmful drugs from making it to human use. Since the drug was approved 23 years ago, it has proved safe and effective. The most important thing to note is that this is the FIRST time a court has ordered the FDA to remove a drug from the market. This is DANGEROUS ground and part of an ongoing attack on women’s reproductive health and rights.

All these shenanigans have one goal in mind—power. Wealthy, mostly white folks want the power to determine how women, people of color, low-to-middle income–basically anyone NOT them–can live in the United States (maybe even the world).

Let’s be clear; their actions are DIRECT ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY. None of the above-mentioned actions make any sense if you have read and believe the meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution.

There is nothing democratic about a legislature removing folks duly elected to office by their peers.

There is nothing democratic about a judge ruling DECADES OF SCIENTIFIC evidence void because it doesn’t fit with the political goal of limiting access to reproductive health care. Who in the hell is a judge who studied the law more knowledgeable about the safety of a drug than the medical panel which studied and approved the drug for safe use?

There is nothing democratic about pardoning a convicted murderer for political reasons.

There is nothing democratic about allowing a clearly unethical Supreme Court Justice to continue serving without a full investigation and proper punishment for unethical behavior. Justices of the highest court in our nation SHOULD be held to higher standards!


It may seem as if we can do nothing to defeat the dark side, but WE CAN win—if we work together! Yes, they have gerrymandered many districts. Yes, they have control of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, they overturned Roe v. Wade. Yes, they seem to be winning the power and political game. But we have the will of the people on our side where the real POWER lives!

Poll after poll, election after election, and protest after protest show there are more of us that believe that women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies, that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes, that quality education should be available to all children, that we should take immediate steps to protect the environment, that every eligible voter should have the right to vote, that peace in our communities begins with living wages and affordable housing, and that racism is a scourge that MUST be eliminated in our lifetime.

However, we cannot win if we fight with each other. If Black, Asian, Native American, and Latinx women unite, we form a POWERFUL voting bloc that won’t be easily defeated. If we caucus together and plan to fight against the dark side in our cities, states, and the U.S. Congress, WE CAN win! Yes, it will take time, but the alternative is a life where we are worse off than our ancestors. My ancestors did not die on slave ships, in the fields, or on the civil rights battlefield for a future where I, my child, and future grandchildren are enslaved.

I WILL NOT cede power to any force that doesn’t acknowledge my full humanity and seeks to deprive me of my rights.

Sisters, take a piece of paper and write down the names and email addresses of at least three (3) other sisters you want to work with to protect our rights and build power to defeat the dark side. Once you have the names and email addresses, complete this form to create your Action Team.

As a team leader, you will receive emails with advice about how to activate your team. WE CAN also asks that you invite your team members to join the WE CAN Facebook Group. You’ll receive more details after you submit your form.

Do NOT believe the lie that the dark side cannot be defeated. WE CAN if we work together!

Sisters-we have influence and we need to use it for good. Because what we won’t do is sit by and let folks make decisions about our lives without us!

In solidarity,

Stephanie McGencey, WE CAN Founder/President

Join WE CAN (and our partners) to watch compelling films and engage in interesting conversations about issues impacting our communities!

Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem
April 21, 2023 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM (virtual)

May 19, 2023 | 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Location: TBD