Why I (would have if I could have) Marched
As everyone knows, on the day after President Trump’s inauguration, a Women’s March took place in cities around the world. And because reproductive rights were part of the original demands expressed, some people think that’s the only reason women marched.
Due to a car accident earlier in the month, I was unable to attend the LA march, but I actually streamed some of the speeches in DC and many of my friends and family participated. So even though I wasn’t present, I have a pretty good sense of the event and would like to explain my own reasons for marching (in spirit).
This is just a short list and I’m not going to take the space to explain each one in depth (yet?). But I am going to provide links to relevant articles that better explain what I’m trying to say, as well as podcasts on each subject.
- Refugees – Regardless of how we feel about specific conflicts around the world, we have to acknowledge that the lives of innocent individuals and families are disrupted and they are often displaced from their homes. I don’t believe they are a threat to my safety and I think it is our responsibility as a country to provide aid and refuge to those who have been forced to flee their homes, especially if they are in danger because they have worked with our military. (article 1 & 2/podcast 1, 2 & 3)*
- Immigrants – I don’t want the United States to be an exclusive club. Our lives are not inherently more important simply because we were born here. And I don’t think immigrants threaten the welfare of U.S.-born citizens. For most immigrants who are not refugees or highly skilled workers, there is no legal path for them to get here. (article 1 & 2/infographic/podcast 1, 2 & 3)
- Black Lives Matter – Racism is real and it has played a devastating role in the relationship between the black community, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. And I think the appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General only puts them at greater risk. (article 1 & 2/podcast)
- Muslims – We claim to have religious freedom in the U.S. Even if you don’t share the specifics of their faith, they still have the same rights as everyone else. I don’t want Muslims to live in fear. They’ve been experiencing discrimination and individuals have been expected to represent an entire religion (including radical terrorists) for so long already. (article/podcast)
- Native Americans – They have already been abused by the US Government for hundreds of years and it seems clear that Trump does not have respect for these communities. Specifically, he is pushing forward the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline which has been fought for months by the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes and allies. (article 1, 2, 3/podcast)
- Climate Change/Environment/Earth – I want to protect our natural resources and national parks. I believe in climate change and think we need to take action to address it. (article/podcast 1 & 2)
- Mexicans and Mexican Americans – I do not think they are rapists or criminals. Their lives are just as important as mine. And I certainly don’t think we should build a wall along our southern border – what an unnecessary and insulting waste of money. (article/podcast)
- Women’s Rights – We still have a long way to go toward women’s equality, whether through reproductive rights and equal pay or the need to eliminate rape culture and create a safer world for half of the population. At the very least, we shouldn’t have to live with a president who made jokes about sexual assault. (article/book/podcast and podcast mini series)
- LGBTQ+ community – I think this community still needs additional protections of their civil rights. And Trump’s appointees like Jeff Sessions and Neil Gorsuch seem unlikely to do enough to protect the rights of this vulnerable group. (article/podcast)
- Affordable Health Care – I’m enrolled in a health care plan through the ACA and I think it’s dangerous to repeal it without a replacement plan at all, let alone a better one. People who are already marginalized are likely to be most affected by changes, but they certainly won’t be the only ones. (article 1 & 2/podcast)
- Foreign Lives – I believe two key things (from my time at Invisible Children): “where you live should not determine whether you live” and “our liberty is bound together.” I think we have a responsibility to provide aid even when it is not obviously tied to our own security. (article/podcast)
- Corruption – There’s a lot of corruption in politics. Duh. And Trump has made it clear that money can buy you power. No thank you. I don’t think the people who were involved (responsible in some way?) in the financial crisis should be in positions of power (like his cabinet or advisors) that could find ways to benefit the richest people in the country. And I don’t think a major donor like Betsy DeVos should be put in charge of education when she is not only unqualified, but also has views that are wildly different from the majority of Americans who are actually affected by the education system. And let’s not forget the little matter of Trump’s own assets (that he refuses to give up) and lack of transparency with regard to his finances. (article/podcast)
- Truth – “Alternative Facts” are not a thing. As hard as it can be to find it, there is such a thing as truth. I think Trump’s administration will only further the country’s downward spiral toward informational chaos. How can he lie so blatantly when we have eyes and can see that he is wrong? (article 1 & 2/podcast)
I could go on.
*Don’t even get me started on the Executive Order…
For those who may be interested, here are some additional resources for protesting and dissent: