After the election of 2016, American morale was in tatters. Many of us felt helpless, which can easily lead to despair and disengagement; and a despairing, disengaged populace is what authoritarians like best.
To keep our own morale up, Noah and I organized some friends. Together we purchased a three-hour advertising flight over New York City on Inauguration Day. The plane towed a banner that read, “We Outnumber Him! Resist!” (A tagline crafted by my brilliant friend Baratunde Thurston.)
People loved it. Photos went viral. Videos were shared around the world. It helped set the tone for a weekend (and year) full of protest against Trump and the forces that put him in office.
This image, posted by Adria Quiñones, was retweeted tens of thousands of times. and inspired Dylan Meconis‘ artwork, which we’ve put on tee shirts, bags, and covfefe mugs. (Use discount code UNITEDWEWIN2018 in January for 10% off your entire purchase.)
After Gothamist was the first major site to run photos, I contacted them and gave them this statement:
We chose this message because Americans are currently debating whether we should focus on the economic concerns of whites who feel marginalized by economic and social changes that favor diversity or the ongoing struggle against systemic discrimination faced by women, people of color, LGBTQ folk, and others. This is a false choice and is keeping us distracted and divided while Trump and his fellow global elites consolidate their power. We need to realize that a nation that values some people above others – be that whites above people of color, men above women, or rich above working class – can never be truly free. It is only when every human being is represented and cherished equally in policy, economics, and social dynamics that we will have achieved the “more perfect union” our Constitution aspires to. “We outnumber him!” is a battle cry for that more perfect union.
A year later, that message is as important as ever. We’ve launched a Patreon for Resistance Air so that we can continue to use aerial advertising and other paid media to make our protest message heard. The goal of this project – and indeed of all my projects – is to engage and inspire anti-Trump white folks and then expose them to intersectional thinking. Ideally, a whole new wave of white people will become as excited about dismantling systemic white supremacy as they are about removing the orange menace from power.
As for what’s next…
This miiiiight be happening again tomorrow… Keep your eyes peeled over the Hudson from 11-2pm Eastern. 🙃🛫🗽✊🏽 https://t.co/QkvGDZVpwh
— Tae Phoenix has left the building (@TaePhoenix) January 19, 2018
Have a great Women’s March, New York! With love from Tae and friends, from sea to shining sea!
Writing songs, speeches, and essays, researching and synthesizing information, and organizing and performing at protests are all emotional labor. Please consider making a contribution to my work.