The week after the presidential inauguration, I started the #3MillionTruth “movement.” Here is the reason why: 3 million people were accused of voting illegally by Trump who claimed that this was why he lost the popular vote. I know this is a detraction tactic that he uses so well to polarize us and to divert us from working together to challenge the real destructive things he and his administration was/is doing to our country. The greatest damage he is doing to our country includes chipping away our rights to free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, women’s control of their bodies, and protection of mother earth, just to name a few. As proof of this detraction tactic, how many of you have heard of the Congregational Review Act being used by Congress to overturn many of the environment protection acts done by the Obama Administration in the last 60 days?
I am grateful to my friends and colleagues who moved into full activist mode to petition and protest against Trump’s executive actions that are based on hate and fear, such as the travel ban, the exclusion of refugees, and the threat to punish sanctuary states and cities. There are however, two additional key areas we must actively address in the next 2 years.
- Build relationships with people who voted differently: We must not buy into the polarizing tactics that seek to divide us, stopping us from working together to address issues that impact all of us. One of the things that we failed to do in the last 8 years and the 8 years before that was to build relationships with people who are different from us politically, economically and geographically. If we had actively established trusting relationships through dialogue with those who are different, we would have been able to address the issues that was brought out during the campaign and addressed them in civil and constructive ways, the election result would have been different. I invite you to take some time this year to get to know someone who voted differently from you and practice gracious dialogue with him/her. (see 11/17/2017 post http://ehflaw.typepad.com/blog/2016/11/post-election-gracious-conversation.html)
- Truth in social media: Trump knew how to use Twitter, to detract us with false claims, half-truths and lies. There were also fake news, false claims, and made-up stories that millions of people believed as truth. The traditional mainstream media were made to look like fools. We have to find ways to counter this. This is why I proposed the #3MillionTruth movement.
I propose that we create a network that will eventually include at least 3 million people who will take 30 seconds a day to tweet, facebook and instagram our truth whenever we encounter a lie coming from Trump and individuals and groups who seek to divide and distract us. Soon after I started the movement, someone asked, "What's the use? Is it going to change anything?" My response was, “Trump has 20 million followers on Twitter. Every time he tweets, that many people may see and believe what he writes. The only way to counter a lie is with the truth. In the case of the internet, we have to counter the lie with the truth plus volumes. If we are successful in getting 3 million people to tell the truth, their followers and friends will see it. If 10 friends/followers of the 3 million get our messages of truth, we would have touched 30 million people and that's more than Trump's followers. Think of it as a wave of truth that can wash away the lie. We talk about people “surfing the internet.” I hope that they will surf on the wave of truth that we create through #3milliontruth.
In order for this to work, we have to make a commitment to tweet and post our truth every time we see and hear a lie on the internet. There are different orders of truth.
- Factual Truth is based on observable physical evidence. If you have the facts and evidence about the issues and topics, please post them, because factual truth always trumps (pun intended) the other orders of truth. So, actually an investigation into the factual truth about voting fraud would be welcomed (but this is a detraction.)
- Interpreted Truth is based on an individual’s or group’s interpretation of the event. This kind of truth is often up for debate because there are always different interpretations. Throughout history, the powerful always take their interpreted truth and made it the truth and expect everyone to believe it. Trump’s claim that there are 3 million illegal voters is an interpreted truth. We have to counter this “interpretation” with factual truth and experienced truth.
- Experienced Truth is based on one’s own experience of the event, topics, and issue. This is the truth I invite people to post. For example, I have asked people to post the truth of their voting experiences in the form: "I am a US citizen; I voted (or did not vote) for _____ and I saw no illegal voting activities at the last election." If 3 million people post their truth, that means we have 3 million pairs of eyes and ears noticing no illegal voting activities. This wave of experienced truth can call into question Trump’s claim, and perhaps may change the minds of those who believed him.
Since I started the #3MillionTruth movement, over 1000 people are talking about it last time I checked. That’s not bad but it is nowhere near the 3 million goal. So, here is what I suggest we do:
- Use #3MillionTruth every time you post your experienced truth and the factual truth you know about voting, about attendance at the inauguration, undocumented immigrants, refugees, the Muslim travel ban, border wall, or any topics that come up. There will be many more.
- Use a second hashtag beginning with #TruthAbout . . . to indicate a more specific topic for which you are telling the factual and experienced truth. For example:
- Madeleine Albright was a refugee. #3MillionTruth #TruthAboutRefugees
- The U.S. government already thoroughly screens refugee’s backgrounds – an intensive process involving the Departments of Homeland Security and state, the FBI and the national intelligence agencies. The process takes 18-24 months. #3MillionTruth #TruthAboutRefugees
- Add a line at the end of your post to invite your followers and friends to post their experienced truth and the factual truth they know. For example:
- A colleague of mind is an undocumented immigrant. She was brought to the U.S. when she was very young. She had a U.S. education, works hard and pays taxes. She never committed any crime. #3MillionTruth #TruthAboutImmigrants Every time you hear a lie, tweet and post your experienced truth.
- Mexicans made up of only 52% of all undocumented immigrants according to the Pew Research Center. So building the southern border wall will not stop the other 48%. #3MillionTruth #TruthAboutTheBorderWall If you know of other factual truths, tweet it, post it, Instagram it, now.
- Retweet and share posts that you believe reflect your experienced truth with your friends and followers. On Twitter, you can tweet the same message as many time as you want and no one would mind. The more you do this with the hashtags, the more we can increase its trend. Remember we are aiming for waves of at least 3 million people to post their truth.
So, let us go forth and make waves of truth.
Eric H. F. Law
For competent leadership in a diverse changing world
Reflection Questions for 6th Sunday after Epiphany (Year A)
1 Corinthians 3:1-9