Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I March

I'm about to start blogging a lot, y'all.

Yesterday, as a still relatively new resident of the D.C. Metropolitan area, I had the great privilege to march with about 1 million of my fellow humans. (Plus a few dogs.) The whole day was full of positivity, empowerment, and unity.

A little old lady in a wheelchair got on our Metro train on the way to the rally, and the whole car cheered.

A little girl got separated from her family in the Metro station on the way back, and the whole station cheered when she was found and escorted down the escalator.

We walked together, we stood together, we laughed together, we cheered together.

Today, I saw a post shared on Facebook by a woman listing her reasons for not marching. This, in and of itself, is fine with me. I can appreciate diversity in thought, unlike some elected officials. I cannot represent every woman in America. But then she starting writing things that got my blood boiling. Things along the lines of "We have it better here than lots of people around the world" and "You can't be victims and victors."

Please, friends, don't miss the point so badly.

This march was not about whining. This march was not about painting ourselves as victims. This march was not about comparison. This march was not even about changing the minds of those power-hungry individuals who have just taken power.

Just because we have been victimized by institutional sexism, racism, etc., does not mean that we are victims. We are so much more than that.

Just because we have been victimized by individual acts of violence, hatred, etc., does not mean that we are victims. We are so much more than that.

I march because I am proud to be a Christian and a feminist.

I march because "better" does not equal "solved or "erased." I won't be satisfied with the system getting better. I want the status quo overturned. (We're all living the reaction to our progress - electing a black man as our President, and trying to elect a woman - the racist/sexist minority came out of the woodwork and stole away the Republican party.)

I march because I resist authoritarianism.

I march because no one in a developed country should die from a treatable disease.

I march because I believe black people should be treated as people. And immigrants. And people with disabilities. If you're human, I want you to be treated as a person.

I march because I want to decrease the number of abortions. However, I realize that the best way to do so is with education and birth control, not banning potentially life-saving procedures.

I march because Black Lives Matter.

I march because I believe education is a good thing. Ignorance is bad. (And I believe not having a college degree does not make you automatically ignorant. Bill Gates dropped out of college, right? Self-education is just as important as schooling.)

I march because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I march because I want girls to be able to be scientists and I want boys to be able to be teachers. For girls to be ambitious and boys to be gentle. For girls and boys to have the same opportunities and self-esteem.

I march because transgender people are attacked for using a bathroom.

I march because corporations should not be more important than their workers.

I march because the homophobic agenda is killing people. (Compared to the gay agenda which results in more sinister things like weddings, hugs, and rainbows.)

I march because this country has got to stop violating Native Americans and their sacred lands.

I march because the school to prison pipeline disgusts me.

I march because this is not normal. If it becomes normal, then we have lost. Not democrats. If people like Trump win, democracy loses. (Have you noticed that Russia can't get Putin out of power now that he has it? Remember how Hitler did that? If we give an inch, they will take a mile.)

I march because I reject a policy of appeasement. I will not let the haters come for my LGBTQ, Muslim, Latino, black, differently abled neighbors. I won't wait for them to come for me before I act.

I march because I believe in community. The only time I have ever felt unsafe in my new neighborhood was walking home the night after the election. I kept checking over my shoulder for an emboldened, misogynist white supremacist. Thankfully, the next day I dropped by the White House at the end of an Immigrant's Rights rally and remembered that I live in a safe place, a place where people join together "sin miedo."

I march because I have so many friends who do have to deal with the white supremacists.

I march because a "great" America does not include Jim Crow laws, lynching, voter suppression, reduced opportunities for women, unsafe abortions, and people going bankrupt to pay medical bills.

I march because I care.

And no amount of fascism is going to make me stop caring. No amount of apathy is going to stop me.

So I continue to march.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully stated. I have been disturbed by the insistence that voicing concerns about the president and his agenda is whining and we should just be quiet now. Democracy is not a winner take all game. The Bill of Rights protects our right to speak up. Democracy has always been about voices being heard and the ability of citizens to fix what is wrong. Thank you for raising yours. #WhyIMarch