Top Memes considers memes used or created by our social movements to challenge the status quo, and the mass memes shaping politics and pop culture.
For us, memes spread meaning through story via symbols and practices. They are transmitted through writing, speech, gestures, images, rituals, and phenomena.
This was quite a year for memes and stories. Our initial list of memes was noticably longer than previous years. Thanks to our trusty criteria, we managed to narrow it down to 10 Top Memes for 2016. It is also important to note that for the last three years Black Lives Matter has been on our Top Memes list. This year we found ourselves noticing that while BLM did not make it directly on the list, its influence and message can be seen throughout it.
We can't wait to see what 2017 will bring. We will need to wield the power of our imaginations to create the boldest memes to #ChangeTheStory. We are powerful when we imagine. Imagine how powerful we can be.
“You know, he only grabs pussies sometimes. Is that what really happened? Come on, you know you liked it when that happened to you! I mean, 12 women saying he did something, doesn’t mean he did, or actually meant it. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe you. Prove it to me. I don’t believe you.”
I can only imagine how Muslim, immigrant, Black, and dis/differently abled folks felt and what they feared as repercussions for the things Trump has done, said he would do, and the hatred fomented on the campaign trail and now manifesting in the mere days since his election.
For me, this ultimately wasn’t just about the election, it’s not about Trump or Clinton. Or even that I was surprised that there were people who were so vested in their own economic survival or comfort, that they were willing to put aside the well-being of whole swaths of people to get it. What’s devastating is that white supremacy, demonization, the fear and hatred of “other,” stripping of rights for more people, could now be (not just implicitly) but explicitly codified into law and exercised by two branches of the government. And more insidiously, that these views are so deeply embedded that they are threatening to create a “new normal” in American culture.
There is power in imagining and it takes imagination to build power.
From our CSS AT2016 Alum Shona Clarkson of Gulf Restoration Network
Currently donating is the best thing to do from afar. There are a few places that are "vouched for" donation sites. Links to them can be found below.
Foundation for Louisiana
Foundation for Louisiana is a trusted NGO in the state.
BOLD Louisiana is collecting donations for rural parishes that aren't getting any federal relief, and North Baton Rouge Disaster Relief is collecting funds for families in North Baton Rouge displaced by the flooding (Alton Sterling was from North Baton Rouge).
North Baton Rouge Disaster Relief
Run by woman of color and is super community focused.
In June of 2016 we held our 6th Advanced Practitioners Training