From now until at least the midterm elections in November, we’ll be featuring essays from powerful cultural voices alongside one simple thing, chosen by the author, that you can do to take action against the paralyzing apoplexy of the daily news. Maybe it’ll be an organization that deserves your donation; maybe it’ll be an issue that deserves greater awareness. Whatever it is, our aim is to remind you, and ourselves, of the big and small things we can do to work toward justice and change.

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Oh People
by Geraldine Brooks

“Oh people, oh world, these are just children!”

The cry of a teacher in Yemen, after a Saudi airstrike blew up his school bus, killing forty little boys aged between nine and eleven. Victims of Trump policy to enable a heartless regime’s brutal killing field in one of the world’s poorest countries.

These, too, are just children: as of today, more than 360 little girls and boys, still separated from their parents, cold, lonely, afraid. Ordered not to hug their siblings, laughed at in their tears by a callous immigration officer. Victims of Trump policy to close our borders and turn an immigrant nation towards an ugly xenophobia.

These, too, are just children: the generation born today who will see a dying ocean rise to drown a parching planet. Victims of Trump policy to deny science, starve innovation, and douse a burning world in filthy fossil fuel.

I commit to action because I am a mother. Mr. President, these are just children. Oh people, oh world, let’s make him stop.

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Take action today:

Consider contributing to NRDC because of their work in the courts to hold back the worst of Trump’s attacks on our environmental protections. And if you can identify a contested congressional seat, for instance by using Seth Moulton’s Serve America, please do what you can to flip it from red to blue: co-host fundraisers, contribute to candidates, make calls to get out the vote on Election Day. I’ll be doing so for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.

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Geraldine Brooks is the author of eight books including, most recently, The Secret Chord.