Our Platform

Not a Rhino is, first and foremost, a nonpartisan collective devoted to increasing popular engagement in all levels of politics.  However, with the current national political climate, it seems necessary that we follow a general framework for encouraging action.  In the 2016 elections, we saw how gerrymandering continues to hide voices and votes, how, while it may have been well-fitted to the times to in which it was conceived, the Electoral College now works against the will of the American people, and how differential districting unequally elongates lines at polling places in historically oppressed and underprivileged communities.  Further, protests have continued across the nation and world, but we are still left waiting for many of our elected officials to follow the will of their people.

Something has to be done.

So, in addition to our continuing efforts to connect people and organizations, we propose the following platform:

The Not a Rhino Team,

Cognizant of the ever-present danger that capitulating to bigotry and hatred poses,

Remembering how governments, armies, and other groups have committed and continue to commit atrocities which deprive peoples of their most basic rights,

Recalling that such conflicts, whether fought with firearms or policies, disrupt the everyday lives of too many and affix values to human and non-human lives which follow deeply embedded lines of power and authority,

Noting how movements of people, and not necessarily states, have effected incredible change over a broad range of contexts, issues, localities, and peoples, including

  • the Civil Rights Movement;
  • the students of the White Rose;
  • the movements driving the end of South African Apartheid; and
  • the many other activists, advocates, and regular people who have changed the world throughout history, and still do so every day,

Troubled by the present day’s continuing offenses committed by states and other groups, as well as by the growing waves of institutional discrimination and bigotry, and

Mindful of and inspired by the numerous organizations, movements, and actions which not only fight against the aforementioned atrocities, but fight for a better future,

  1. Recommits to the fight for increased access for all, whether that access be to voting, citizenship, or other rights;
  2. Encourages all people to join the progressive movements which have historically and currently shown the power of people in driving forth societal and cultural changes;
  3. Calls upon organizations and movements to be inclusive rather than exclusive, and radically progressive and adaptive rather than passively regressive and unchanging;
  4. Condemns all institutions which differently value human lives in securing access to basic human rights, including, but not limited to,
    • Voting;
    • Citizenship;
    • Assembly;
    • Speech;
    • Press;
    • Education;
    • Life; and
    • Health;
  5. Further calls for movements and people to avoid narrowly defining such aforementioned rights, but to instead accept and embrace differences in identities, backgrounds, and meanings;
  6. Embraces a progressive agenda rooted in academic, historical, activist, and other contributions to our understandings of how people relate to and move power;
  7. Acknowledges that, with these changing trends, we as a nonviolent collective will need to coevolve as well;
  8. Adamantly supports organizations and movements which fight to increase access to the rights previously listed, and many others;
  9. Specifically directs people to organizations which support this platform and hold one or more of the following in their mission and/or vision:
    • The Electoral College, with today’s increased fluidity of state lines, functions more to restrict popular election of the president than to provide a “safeguard” of the process; it should, therefore, be eliminated, or be adjusted to solely reflect the popular vote;
    • The process of redistricting lends itself very easily to gerrymandering, which by its nature quashes the voices of people, and largely people of color; the process of drawing electoral districts should be reformed to be equitable and fair to all involved, and should be strictly based on population size;
    • The current and previous administrations’ policies have restricted access to legal citizenship in the United States, as well as have limited the ability of Native American Indians and other groups to express their own citizenship; comprehensive legislative changes must redefine our conception of citizenship to include its complex cultural, medical, social, and other forms, as well as ultimately expand legitimated access to the rights accompanying United States citizenship such as education and that to a fair trial; and
    • All people should have access to the most basic of human rights, that being life; consequently, we need actions which will expand access to broader forms of medical care and eliminate institutionalized racism, sexism, and bigotry; and
  10. Pledges to never capitulate, always stay engaged, and always stay informed.
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