Back in November, after the presidential election and a tumultuous number of days in which I just
wanted to take cover from all the anger and the gloating and the sniping that was taking place from every side, I began writing a column of reconciliation.
Writing is therapy for me and how I come to grips with events that are happening in the world.
But I never finished the column, because just as President-elect Donald Trump couldn’t stop Tweeting, I couldn’t make peace with what was happening.
So a few dark months have passed, I’ve done a lot of reading, I’ve kept quiet as I’ve tried to make sense of all the chaos and still been more and more disturbed by what I see as a general lack of civility in society. My silence was not in accord with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Then, a couple weeks ago, my spirit was revived as I decided I would attend the Women’s March on Washington, DC this Saturday.
I’m not doing this to further “divide” our country as has been suggested by people critical of the march. I’m not crying or stomping my feet because the candidate I voted for didn’t win.
I am actually finally celebrating some things in the wake of the election of a man who has attacked my profession over and over again. I am celebrating my right to be heard, my right to protest, my right to stand up for what I believe, my right to exercise the First Amendment.
This will be the first time in my life I’ve ever marched. I will be there with my daughter, my cousin, and thousands of others, many of whom share the same ideologies as me, many who do not.
I’m celebrating our right to have different views and still have common goals. We all will have our own reasons for marching. The exciting part is that we are seeking to peacefully find common ground and work together to retain and improve our rights. Finally, I’m taking action!
I am excited to go and hear the stories of all the people and then share those stories with you because I believe everyone has a story and the world can’t be viewed only through our own experiences, we must be open to different views. I march in my own shoes, not in the shoes of another. Only they can say why they are marching, but here is why I march:
I march to unite, not divide.
I march for you and your rights, regardless of who you voted for.
I march because our bodies, our minds, and our rights aren’t up for grabs.
I march because I am a journalist and a citizen who believes in Free Speech and Freedom of the Press and I know the importance of the media in keeping those in power accountable and educating the electorate.
I march because I believe in the importance of a quality public education that is accessible to all, not the chosen few.
I march because affordable healthcare should be available to all.
I march because even in 2017, women don’t always receive equal pay for equal work.
I march to educate myself on those whose stories differ from mine, and to bring those stories to you who might not otherwise know these stories without a free press.
I’m taking the first step in what now feels to me like a march toward light. Yes, our country may be divided, but we still have the power in all of us to make it whole, to be heard, to make it better.
I am one voice of many. We all have something different to say, we all do better when we listen and respect the other voices and fight for their right to be heard as well.
I am silent no more.
I march for me, I march for you, I march for America, I march for a better world, I march for humanity.
Wherever you may be, this weekend and in all the days ahead, please join me in this march that never ends.