Resist; Persist

Last Wednesday, Senator Mitch McConnell made a comment that turned what would have otherwise been a relatively commonplace occurrence in Senate into a catalyzing event, and provided a rallying cry to re-energize the resistance.

The subject of the comment was Senator Elizabeth Warren. She had the temerity to read aloud a letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986 regarding reservations over the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a position as a federal judge. Senator Warren was prevented from completing her reading by an objection from Mitch McConnell.

Had he let her continue, her speech would have likely amounted to nothing. Instead, he made a formal objection, and then defended it with the now infamous line, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

In eleven words, Mitch managed to summarize what it means to stand up to authority, to push for real change, and to resist tyranny. What he described wasn’t a misbehaving child like his patronizing tone suggested, but a revolutionary hero. 

Anyone who has ever worked to fight the system knows that getting people angry and getting a march together is the easy part. The hard part is standing your ground, day after day, warning after warning, platitude after platitude. Persisting.

I was pulled into a conversation where friends were looking for ways to make that phrase more… persistent. They wanted it immortalized, somehow, as a reminder to keep fighting. I threw together a concept sketch, which Pamela Gay quickly improved upon.

The upper line is the symbol for a resistor in electronics diagrams. The lower line, a heartbeat as recorded on an ECG. The idea is to provide a shorthand for perseverance in the face of oppression, a reminder to keep resisting.

With the magic of the internet, we now have the graphic available on T-shirts, mugs and more through Redbubble. We are donating any profits to the ACLU because it’s an institution we both believe in.

We have a version with text and without, and comes in white if you prefer wearing dark colors. depending on your aesthetic preferences and whether you can get away with overt activist rhetoric on your mug at work.

Amy has also put up a related design in her own shop with proceeds going to NAACP. It’s much more colorful and more tightly tied to the event. Pick it up if you prefer bright colors, strong feminist statements, or donating to the NAACP.

Nevertheless, She Persisted


Ryan is a professional nerd, teaching engineering in the frozen north. Somewhat less professionally, he is a costumer, author, blacksmith, juggler, gamer, serial enthusiast, and supporter of the Oxford comma. He can be found on twitter and instagram @studentofwhim. If you like what I do here, feel free to leave a tip in my tipjar.

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