There is something simplistically beautiful about people standing together peacefully to share their voices in proactive wants for their society.
Last Saturday I had a joy with an appropriate amount of in trepidation venturing to the Women's March LA in Downtown. It was the first and only sun-filled day in weeks (if not feeling like months). And for our small group going together (knowing many others attending too) it was our first such march, subsequently being quite cautious to try and not stay in same spot too long, walk towards edges of crowd and stay aware of who around us. All the while staying home, or not spending this Saturday morning between Pershing Square and City Hall, did not feel right. The last series of months from election day in November to months before were witness to litany of hate towards women, racial and ethnic groups, people with physical disabilities, religious groups and on and on.
All the while almost 750,000 people came together at first standing together to wait for march to start and then dispersing to find a path to march. (Note: unlike commonly seen Angeleno rudeness and anger exhuding; people were kind, saying "excuse me", apologies for bumping into each other, parting ways for families with strollers and beyond.) Some drivers had to sit in their cars for marchers to past and yes some looked annoyed on their smartphones and others participated from a woman raising her pet cat to cheers in the crowd to a pre-teen honking her mother's car horn in solidarity. All the while we reached a corner near City Hall to a trumpet player's impromptu performance of "America the Beautiful."
These are only some of the numerous memories and visuals that will stay and empower me to continue to march in safe spaces. And here are the beginning 10 reasons for me on why we should continue to march together peacefully.
Believe a Twitter user's thoughts on the Affordable Care Act debate is almost universal to aspects of society as a whole. Lauren Morrill wrote: "... I don't know how to explain to you why you should care about other people." Society is a collective we share certain aspects of life and we have others separate. There's a nuance in how we live that goes beyond ourselves.
Labels should be left for products and other tangible goods and the acceptance and practice of name-calling should cease in private and public discussions. And keep in mind the notion of being "politically correct" is based on being thoughtful to others. So when you start to tout that you are "tired of being politically correct" you are also saying your annoyed by having to use intelligence and empathy for others when you speak.
Mainstream Media following set standards of truths, sources and nuances are not the ill of society and rather one of the greatest tools of society to at least prevent tyranny or related actions. Falsehoods and alternative realities should not be propped and endorsed because one likes to hear, read or see them.
Climate change and science as a whole is real and should have constant experimentation, replicable findings and discussion. Intelligent design propaganda is so the 2000s and before and we won't go back. Attempts to shut down science for an agenda of an administration is unethical and period.
Being Pro-Choice is being a proponent of life. It calls for a woman to make a choice about her body in good health. Also Planned Parenthood and international NGOs' programs are providing programs, screenings and medical treatment to a bountiful of women's health issues. Cutting their funding doesn't give life rather tends to cause loss of life. Also note there is no gender listing in "Planned Parenthood" and its name literally means to help people plan an aspect of their life as much as possible.
On the topic of gender. Women are full-complete humans and we include people across races, religions and gender identifications. Equal pay is not only deserving it is a right for individuals undergoing the same tasks and responsibilities. Pay amount should be distinguished by performance and time of service not gender. All the while gender roles does not have a place in a society that progresses and think America is such. Job fulfillers should be identified by their capability, experiences and references to their character. On the personal front it is up to each coupling and family to identify their roles among themselves.
America is a nation of immigrants. Founded by those escaping tyranny and persecution. Personally, almost 40 years ago my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and some cousins came to the US to avoid religious and gender-based persecution. All the while becoming citizens and active members of society, paying their taxes. They were the "lucky ones" who also have haunting trials and tribulations. Yesterday, on the commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day no less, the current President signed an executive order to prevent such immigration. An individual — who appears and doesn't show evidence to contrary that he doesn't pay taxes — is further developing a cluster for people to not garner asylum from the genocide taking place in Syria. We say "Never Again" to genocide of 6 million Jews and 5 million others who included individuals with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community and many many many more. All the while it is happening again around the world. Anyone at least semi-critically listening to the candidate Trump rhetoric during the 2016 election cycle should not be surprised this is happening. All of us should raise our voices against these politics of fear and those in various forms of power to stop it must do so.
My cousin (who feels like a nephew) and a number of friends have at least one physical disability. (Personally prefer to identify it as a physical difference or impairment and will focus on society language on this front at a later time.) Truth is you or I could end up with a disability at any moment. Whether or not we have a disability is not relevant but that issues relate to us as a whole. We deserve more than an Attorney General who believes children with disabilities are a strain on the public school system; Secretary of Education who will not commit to upholding the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act; a President who is supposed to represent us all to do so and mock a reporter with a disability. All the while we have to increase funding for accessibility (ie ramps, elevators any infrastructure we use for mobility), adaptive sports and the abundance of health care needs.
We are a society of many races and ethnicities and should empower each other to live in unison not degrade and abuse each other. Of course All Lives Matter, and Black Lives Matter, too, and the "too" might not sound so marketable and the ultimate message of stopping the discrimination should not be lost. We can't close our eyes to the multitude of atrocities and prison system's reflections of slavery, targeting people of color. Mixed feelings on identifying each other by the color of our skin and I believe we still have to stand up for the Civil Rights movement. It is not over. When you have an Attorney General nominee who didn't receive a judgeship decades ago because he was deemed to racist and individuals still deemed it worthwhile to nominate him and others give him support; how do we stay quiet?
I do not want and will not pay for a wall between the United States of America and Mexico. On a somewhat small degree it has no basis of logic, how geologically such a wall could be built. Falsehood upon falsehood is being thrown at the American public on who will actually pay for it. All that to the side how is such a facade of separation going to help the Americans? Yes countries have borders and we also thrive on the culture and commercial trades. Historically such walls haven't been successful in the long run. As a society let's not throw away billions of dollars to build such a monstrosity, suffer its effects and then watch future generates celebrate its destruction. Let's diversify our efforts away from such a topic now.
And so I am realizing that while current events might lit this spark in me, the flame is going to continue to burn. My activism will have a voice of multiple volume levels beyond this administration and even the next president, congress and so on. Because staying silent is no longer an option. I probably don't agree with everything activist Angela Davis has said and written. I do agree with her following quote: "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept."