Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Why I Marched.

My sister and my niece...

Yesterday, I read a lot of whiny posts on social media, criticizing the Women's Marches. In fact, one woman actually said that the marchers were paid, especially the celebrities. She is, of course, completely out of her ever-loving mind.

Here's why I marched:

I marched because last year, I heard an interview with a woman who was assaulted by Trump, while she was in an office building, just standing near an elevator. She said that it was so demeaning. She said that she was afraid that she would see him again, every time she was in the building. She was hyper vigilant, so that she wouldn't run into him accidentally again. She was also afraid that she might lose her job if she complained. I know that feeling. I had a man stalking me for a year, back when I was getting my teaching credential. He worked in the office building, next to my apartment building. Each night, he sat in his car and watched my apartment. Soon, he was watching it during the day, as well. It progressed to him actually venturing near my apartment and looking through my windows. The police would do nothing. He broke into my apartment, but I couldn't prove it. Eventually, I went to a gun store, and purchased pepper spray. I slept with it under my pillow. So, I understand how that woman felt. There's a powerlessness in such a situation. Her words were authentic. I believed her. She felt shame, for no reason. I marched because our president is a sexual predator. 

I marched because I think that society has a polite veneer. Sometimes the veneer is thin, but it's still there. Our president doesn't realize that there actually is a veneer at all. His words and actions have unleashed racism, xenophobia, and misogyny. A president is supposed to be the best that our country has to offer. He or she is an example. He felt free to refer to the inhabitants of a neighboring country as "rapists". Is everyone actually a rapist? Everyone? Men, women, and children? Who makes sweeping generalizations like that?  It's ridiculous. During the heat of his election campaign, I was out in my front yard, pulling weeds. A car sped by, and the passengers hooted and wolf-whistled. Thankfully, we have a very long stoplight at the intersection near my house. So, I walked over to the car, and asked the young men if they had anything that they would like to say to me. They all looked embarrassed, and sat silently, not making eye contact. When I walked back to the yard, I was shaking. That is not something that I would ever do, but I felt that their actions needed to be addressed. If we live in a country where bullying and abuse are modeled in the highest office, it's bound to rub off on our citizens.

I marched in Oakland...

I marched because I can march. We live in a country where freedom of speech is a part of the law. So, if I want to make a crown of cocktail wieners and parade down Madison Avenue, I'm allowed. Guess what? No one paid me. I stood surrounded by thousands of respectful women, men, and children. Everyone had different reasons for marching and different concerns. I was amazed at how kind everyone was. There were little kids, and everyone gave them space, so that they wouldn't feel too pressed. When an elderly grandmother sat in her apartment window and waved to the crowd, hundreds roared and cheered for her. 

I marched because I know that things are going to get tough for immigrants. I know that lists will be compiled and ridiculous walls will be built. The wall is going to have to cross several states, so it will be a complete waste of money. And, people that I love will be hurt. We are a nation of immigrants. My family isn't from America. My ancestors arrived for opportunities. I am a Mormon. My people were forced to flee the United States before the Civil War, in order to escape persecution. If this president is willing to malign Muslims, where will it end? Who will be safe?

Truth is disappearing...

I marched because I love my country and I feel sad. We're better than this. Today, when I read quotes by Dr. King, they are chilling. We were never perfect. We've always been racist. But, we seem to care, as a country, about striving to do better. History has shown that it's a slow crawl, but we have been crawling forward. In our effort to "make America great again", I fear that we are doing the exact opposite.

Let right be done...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.