Saturday, January 21, 2017 is a day that will go down in history. On this day, millions of women (and men) across the world took to the streets and protested a regime that supports the erasure of our rights as human beings. A regime that doesn’t care about people of color, the disabled or the LGBTQ community and has openly disparaged immigrants. I consider myself lucky to have attended to largest march of all in Washington, DC.
We knew it was going to be huge. Organizers estimated there would be about 200,000 people but by the time I left my house and began walking towards the metro, I could tell it would be more. It seemed like everyone in my neighborhood was headed downtown, armed with protest signs and pussy hats. The trains themselves were almost too crowded to ride. I ended up getting off two stops up. It took us an hour just to walk to the center of the march.
Looking out over a crowd of 500,000+ people is quite mind-boggling. I had never seen anything like it. It was wall-to-wall people. Screaming, singing, banging drums and dancing. A crowd that stretched as far as the eye could see in any direction. It was a sight to behold and it filled my cold heart to capacity.
I don’t want to call myself a cynical person but when it comes to American politics, that’s really the only word I can think of to describe myself.
Perhaps it’s because as a woman of color, I experience direct opposition to my existence everyday.
Perhaps it’s because I have watched as the first black president was dragged through the mud by people who would rather see him and his family dead than in the White House.
Or maybe it’s just years of witnessing politicians who care more about what I choose to do with my body than actual violence against women.
Since the election, I’m sorry to say that my view of this country has darkened even further. I have been feeling so down. I felt like I had lost what little faith I had left in my fellow American. I didn’t know where we were headed as a country. I was actually fearful of the incoming president and his cabinet of clowns. All I could hope for going forward was that it wouldn’t be too bad. That by some miracle, everything would turn out ok.
Today, I realized we don’t have to wait for a miracle. In sheer numbers, we are one.
A statement was made today. We will not go quietly. We will not roll over. We will not say sorry. We will stand up for our rights and the rights of all marginalized groups. You can delete the pages on climate change, civil rights, the disabled and the LGBTQ community from the White House website. That’s fine. We’ve got enough signs for everyone.
For me, today was an incredible gift. To see the sheer mass of resistance to this utter ridiculousness restored my faith in this country and its people. I am so thankful that one day I will be able turn to my children and say “I was there.”
I have been feeling lost since the election. But looking over that crowd today, I was full of hope.