Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict…an individual who accepts evil without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.”
The Women’s March in Washington D.C.
Last Saturday, I attended the Women’s March in Washington DC, and it was a day I will never forget. I first heard about the march a few weeks after Election Day, while still consumed with feelings of defeat, shock and utter disappointment. I immediately booked a hotel room and started texting my fellow justice-hungry gal pals. After Hillary’s defeat, I too felt absolutely crushed by the system. On the flip side, a different part of me had been awoken.
To my very core, I felt an undeniable push to finally attempt to “be the change I wanted to see in the world.” As someone who has been interested in politics for as long as I can remember, it was as if the election had created the perfect storm. For lack of over using epic analogies, the world had lit a fire under my comfortable white privileged butt.
The Women’s March was incredible—and it was only the beginning. It was a day filled with peace, love, acceptance and LOTS of emotions. When I saw elderly women marching in their wheel chairs, it brought me to tears. Here were women of all colors and life experiences, refusing to accept defeat. Perhaps that is the message we should all takeaway; the resilience of the human spirit. Those women in their wheel chairs, after a lifetime of being burned, continued to rise from the fire.
Around the Women’s March, I encompassed the usual questions and comments from critics afraid of the unfamiliar, often unaware of the extreme societal advantages we have experienced. “What will a march really accomplish?” or “I don’t get protests.” I wanted to shout at the top of my already large lunges—THEN YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND INEQUALITY. I encourage everyone, myself included, to take a closer look at their life experiences. Do I have a home, food to eat, friends I celebrate with, student loans that mark I was deemed eligible for an education, a car to transport me, vacation days, HEALTHCARE and a 401K? If so, may we all count are many blessings.
I recently heard an analogy about inequality that struck me: Meg and Kelly both want to get to the 3rd floor. It takes Meg three steps to arrive, but Kelly must take six steps to get to the same floor, this is inequality. America is a home without walls, a place created to welcome diversity. We must not forget our civic duty to fight for those who cannot use their voices, for fear of persecution. As the ever so eloquent social rights activist, Desmond Tutu, said, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Finally, I hope to arrive at a place where being a politically active member of society is not seen as being radical or overly opinionated. I also hope that politics loses it’s often deceitful and dirty connotation. I wish for all people to feel empowered to take on whatever cause keeps you up at night. I encourage you to let that cause open a new realm of passion in your life.
Looking for some more inspiration? Below are some photos from the wonderful Women’s March, and stay tuned for an upcoming post of ways to get involved in your local community.
In the meantime, happy protesting.