Sunday Reflections: This is Why I Marched
Betsy DeVos as head of the Department of Education
Rick Perry as head of the Department of Energy
An unqualified cabinet full of billionaires that donated to his campaign
Conflicts of Interest, including putting his family in positions of authority and influence
Freedom of the press
There were a lot of reasons to attend the Women’s March yesterday. And a part of my heart marched for each one. But I also marched because we just swore into an office a man who is ON THE RECORD stating that he regularly sexually assaults women and has no qualms about doing so. That’s right, we put a man who has no regard for 51% of the human race in a position to make policy and legislation that effects them. Actually, he has no regard or compassion for way more than 51% of the human race when you consider his position on those with disabilities, immigrants, people of color, poor people, anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual, and people of faiths that are not Christian. We put a fox in charge of the hen house and now we’re trying to keep him from eating his prey.
So yesterday I marched. I marched with my two daughters in Fort Worth, Texas. We talked about why we were marching, what would happen, and more.
On the way down to the march my dad asked me on the phone, “what do you expect to accomplish by marching?”
What I expected to accomplish was this: I wanted to make a strong, powerful, visual statement to our elected representatives at all levels of government that we are here, we are watching, and we do not support these policies. I believe we accomplished this goal and I thank everyone who marched everywhere to help make this happen.
Here’s what I didn’t expect to happen, but greatly needed: My heart, which has been full of despair since the night of the election, was encouraged. I looked around me and saw people fighting with me, and a light shone on this day that I had forgotten existed. I stood amongst people holding signs demanding accountability, proclaiming love, and promising to fight and I knew that although we were in for a long haul, we were not in it alone. I was inspired, invigorated, and encouraged.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
At each intersection as we marched by the police who had stopped traffic so that we could march, people cheered for the police. Many people walked up and shook the officers hands and thanked them for their service. I followed their examples and made a point to thank many of the officers along the parade route.
At one intersection, a counter-protestor, not part of the March, walked up to a police officer who had just shook the hand of a marcher and asked him why he, the police officer, was being nice to us, the protestors, because we hated the police. The police officer just shook his head and said nah, I don’t think they do man. This man started to get angry and was trying to tell him that we were against the police. He was legitimately an outside agitator trying to stir this police officer up against the marchers. Thankfully, the officer did not take the bait. He just kept telling the man that no, he didn’t think we were against him and we weren’t causing any problems.
I appreciated that this officer did not take this man’s bait and that he served and stood up for us. All the officers were pretty amazing to see.
But it was also interesting to see because maybe when protests get out of hand maybe it isn’t always what it seems. This man wanted to cause us problems and thankfully, that did not happen.
What Comes Next?
Though the march inspired me, the girls and I talked about how the fight is not over. They have heard me in these last few weeks call and talk to my representatives. They have heard me stutter and stammer as I nervously told my representatives that we need to investigate Russia, that we need to see Trump’s tax returns, that we do not support Betsy DeVos as head of the Department of Education.
I have written e-mails, signed petitions and spoke to truth. Truth is apparently in danger these days in this terrifying new reality.
We’ve made other little daily changes to spark change. Whenever we buy groceries now we make sure and buy some items to donate to the local food pantry. We have talked to community members about organizing some different types of things to bring members, particularly teens, in our community closer together and keep them engaged and learning and building relationships.
The Teen is investigating going and participating in the Girls in Politics Initiative. She wants to learn more and maybe be involved in politics when she grows up. We’re looking at costs and dates.
I’ve programmed all of my reps into my phone, bookmarked several sites that keep me informed and provide daily actions.
And last night, Thing 2 came to me with a DVD in her hand and said maybe we should cuddle and watch this again tonight. The DVD in question was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This is why I marched.
Filed under: Sunday Reflections
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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