On inauguration day 2017, Donald Trump’s presidency is being protested by tens of thousands of America’s diverse people across the country. Protesters are sad and angry and fearful. The protesters cause is unique to each individual as they march united against a president and the culture of hate and intolerance he represents. The protests are about lgbt rights and the environment and black lives matter and women’s health and freedom of speech and so many other causes.
I have attended three protests since the election and have seen people full of despair and fear and looking for solidarity in a like minded group. I have seen people full of love and hope who see this election as a sign to love more and speak out and fight for those they see threatened. One thing everybody brings is their voice in solidarity for all people.
Some people chant, braver ones give speeches, others carry signs, and many just lend their presence to show support quietly. They are all united in their beliefs of equality in that America is and should remain a safe place for all its unique people. Despair or hope aside that must remain a core principle.
This election and its results have filled me with sadness and anger and confusion. I’ve written about it and protested and most of the time I feel hopeless about my efforts. I know congress will ignore the will of the people like it did after Sandy Hook and Donald Trump will tweet about us being paid sad losers. I’m sad for all the people who feel afraid because conservatives look at them as lesser than. I’m angry that so many racists and bigots and bullies feel empowered to openly hurt people. I’m confused how such a relatable slogan as “black lives matter” is demonized and sexual assault has been normalized.
I also see hope and love in the protesters and that inspires me to be as positive as I can. I see young men and women march topless on a chilly January day to add more power to their voice. I see people who had protested in the 60’s and are still fighting for whats right. I see openly gay and transgender people defying hatred and telling their stories to the public. I see all these races and ethnic people walking together in support of one another.
I see local law enforcement lining the streets and smiling as peaceful protesters march by and give thank youse. You see all these different people marching together from all walks of life in an effort to support each other and you feel hope for the future. Its sad and it hurts knowing things will get tough for many Americans over the next four years. At the same time you have to fight for them anyway you can. You can’t stand by and watch and be silent. Give hope and empower others by speaking out and letting them know they’re not alone.
This country has long been a beacon of freedom to the world. We make horrible mistakes as American citizens and yet that reputation stands. Through slavery and internment camps and Jim Crow we fight and fight until justice is restored at any cost. Women fought to vote. Japanese citizens defied prejudice and fought fascism in Italy. Black people marched for civil rights and gays marched for pride. The American people fight for their and others freedom. None of us march alone in despair or hope. We are the collective good on the right side of history. Through this sadness we will unite and fight the next battle together. I’m not alone in this and neither are you! March on!