I asked myself and others “why march?” many times before actually deciding to do it. After the election I was shocked, upset, disconnected, angry, sad and just generally overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. A march sounded good. But I wasn’t sure it would address the responsibility I felt to my children, my family, my community and my country to address the consequences of the presidential election. I wanted to stand up for justice and truth – but I wasn’t sure if a march would make a lasting difference. Marching might make me feel better, but would my energy and effort be better spent elsewhere? Ultimately I decided to march. I marched because I believe it is important to treat all people with respect. I believe in the Constitution and the freedoms that come with it. I care about people with disabilities. I marched for the many women in our country who know first-hand about sexual assault and sexual harassment, and specifically for those women who bravely told their truths during the election for the entire world to hear and then watched as their country elected him anyway. I marched because I believe immigrants and refugees have made and will continue to make our country strong. I marched because I want my elected officials to know that I value equal rights for ALL. I marched because I am worried about how the policies of the new administration will impact healthcare, the rights of the LGBT community, women, immigrants, the environment and education. I marched because I’m scared and because I care deeply. Now more than ever I want to be an active and engaged citizen. For me that means marching, writing my elected officials, praying, thinking, reading, and staying engaged. I commit to all that. And I will never again think twice again about marching. It was one of the more positive, cathartic, and energizing things I have done.
I marched on January 21st, 2017 because while I accept the results of the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump did not win my vote or the popular vote of the nation. I marched with a neighbor, our 2 dogs, and found among the marchers a mother I work for who is currently pregnant and a small business owner, one of my young students with her mother and younger sister, and several co-workers, friends and colleagues. It was entirely peaceful and respectful of not only our Nebraska Union grounds but also the State Capitol. I marched because I object to President Trump’s intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Senate actions already taken to repeal its provisions. I marched for the rights of women to obtain safe and affordable reproductive care. I marched for the children with disabilities in a community program I direct who could lose their access to health care benefits. Most of all, I marched because it is my constitutional right to assemble and freely express myself peacefully and respectfully with my fellow Americans. I marched to be part of the largest political demonstration in the history of the United States. I thank the leaders and women who have gone before me that have afforded me that right. We the People.
I marched because I am a woman, and the mother of a woman. I marched because this presidential election made me say “enough”. The minority elected a sexual predator and misogynistic liar with no qualifications to lead this country. I have put up with this rape culture for too long. My daughter was sexually harassed the first time by a fellow student in second grade. It was discovered by her teacher. When the parents were called in the father said that “maybe she was asking for it”. The teacher would not share this information normally, but we were close and she made us promise we would not act on the info. This was not the last incident in grade school and I am sure she had to put up with much more than I ever did because she was pretty, smart, fun, popular. She was everything I wished I could have been except assaulted , she was raped. I march because this has to stop. You may not tell me that it is OK to elect a man that tells people that because he is famous he can grab a woman’s pussy. He can mock a disabled man by acting like a fool. He can call women fat pigs and thinks he can bully people because of their appearance…..really…..by appearance? I know I am not the only one wondering where he gets the nerve, but I digress. I march for those who love a person of the same sex and have the right to do that. I march for a woman to make her own reproductive decisions. I march for that person that feels trapped in the body that does not feel right. I march for those human beings that want a chance to make life better in this country. I march for all the hard working people that deserve to make a living wage. I march for every child to know that they will not be hungry, especially at school. I march for every person to have healthcare and not for the hospital ceos and pharmaceutical companies to become billionaires. I march for accessibility to health care for those with mental illness and disabilities. I march because I have had it with our political leaders. I want to be the grandma with nothing to do but love and spoil my grandsons, bake cookies and read books, but now I will have to spend my last years trying to make right, everything that has gone so wrong.