I marched in tiny Loup City, NE (population 1,000), my hometown, because I am appalled at the lack of respect for women, people of color, LGBTQ persons, the disabled, and the poor that I have seen coming from the new administration. I marched because I believe Nebraskans are fair and kind people, many of whom have been misled about the real threats to humanity. Those misleading stories have made many afraid and suspicious of their neighbors and strangers, and marching together can show them that we have nothing to fear but that fear and suspicion. I marched because the Midwest has been painted as an intolerant, backward, and ignorant section of the country, and that is simply not true. When we join together in love, truth, and acceptance, we show the rest of the nation that their perceptions of the Midwest are not accurate. I marched because those of us who hold those beliefs are not represented well by our elected officials, who need to know how many of us do not fall in line with the racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic views that are expressed as examples of how citizens of the United States feel. I marched because I am terrified of what the future holds for my young granddaughters if we do not turn this country back to the loving and accepting land that I love.
I felt the physical need to do something to try to change the injustices coming from such a hate-filled horrible person! It felt so good to find like-minded women (and men) in such a place as Loup City, NE! The week that followed was absolutely awful; each thing that happened from Washington seemed worse than the last. It was knowing that I was not alone that got me through that week from Hell! Hear me roar!!!
I marched with my husband and our three young daughters, aged 8, 6, and 4, whose self-created signs said “Girls Rule!”, “Women Need Respect,” and “Boo Trump” (the last was from my 4yo). We marched because of, well, all of the reasons my girls gave! Girls rule, and women DO need respect, especially during this regime which has given every indication of removing women from the decisions regarding their own bodies, and because of that: BOO TRUMP!
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.