A Call to Action
“Alright, let’s go! Does everyone have what they need? It’s a long trip, and lots of walking. Remember to pack light.”
“Wait, I think I want a water. Does anyone else want one or need any snacks?”
“Yeah! Let’s go to the vending machine! But we have to hurry and we need to head out soon.”
“Alright, everyone ready now?”
“Ok, let’s go!”
“Here we go! See you all in three hours.”
Three hours later, myself and five friends arrived at the Franconia-Springfield metro station in Virginia. We were headed to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. After two hours of waiting in metro lines and travelling on the metro, we arrived at the Smithsonian exit in the nation’s capital. As we exited the dark abyss, a storm of people and sounds that welcomed strength, pain, and prosperity, greeted us. Our excitement swelled as we raised our signs and conjoined with the moving crowds of individuals.
I looked around and saw a wide range of signs, unified in their devotion to solidarity on cause of female rights. Each sign I saw reminded me why I had travelled so long and far and why I was marching. As the march commenced, various chants were repeated, “Hey Hey, Hoh Hoh, Donald Trump has got to go,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Women’s rights are human rights.” The harmony of the chants created a novel feeling of solidarity in the midst of such a controversial election built on the platform of hate.
After the election of Donald Trump, I felt my guard had to be heightened in all of my interactions with other people. As an African American female, my identity and position in society has always been something I felt the need to protect. My race, despite dewy-eyed beliefs, will always be a factor in how individuals judge me and the opportunities and obstacles I face as a result. The election for me was a testament to that reality. Despite presumed racial progress, individuals still willingly elected a platform built on the destruction of such progress.
However, marching in D.C., surrounded by a wide host of ethnic and racial identities, allowed me to loosen my protective grip on my personal identity. These people were marching in solidarity with me and all females alike. That feeling is one that is hard to describe in words. To feel accepted in a climate of intensified domestic hate, created a refreshing sense of hope. A sense of hope that is needed to inspire individuals to continue to advocate for social change. Faith is not tangible, but it can be seen.
While there has been much criticism of the march, ranging from concerns on representation, to the lack of solidarity in a host of beliefs (i.e. pro-life and pro-choice), , to say the march was unsuccessful is a harmful understatement. Different ideologies are necessary to create plans of action and discussion. One should not be quick to criticize the impact of the march because it takes away from the beautiful solidarity that rose in D.C., Los Angeles, Raleigh, and many other locations. America was built on the oppression of minority groups. These groups initiated a resistance that led to social and legal change. In a similar fashion, the march resembles continued oppression that refuses to be ignored..
As an aspiring broadcaster for social injustice, it is highly important for me to participate in movements that support social justice. The march for me, served as an initiative to continue involvement within my community. Specifically, by helping with the disparities (black male representation, awareness concerning different viewpoints, and inclusive efforts to support all minorities and underrepresented groups) experienced during the march and social injustices that continue to present themselves on a daily basis.
It is one thing to sit and criticize a movement and the actions and ideologies you find fault with. It is another thing however, to actually take action towards the changes you wish to see. Refrain from multiple written posts on social media, if you do not make attempts and efforts to get involved. Examples of these efforts include: working with your local senators, engaging in protests, and collaborating with supportive groups for minorities in your community. Words lose credibility without the action to back them up. Posting is announcing; while doing, is displaying. Although faith is not tangible, it can be seen. For me, the march emphasized my faith in the need to take physical action for what I continue to focus on in my fight for ethnic and gender equality.