I Know Why I March. Do You?

“Oh my God. Do you see them with them with the Hillary hats on? C’mon. The election is over, Trump is President, get over it.”  “Kaepernick is probably somewhere kneeling down hahaha.” Clearly, these Trump supporters did not agree with protesters exercising their first amendment right although this country they love so dearly was founded on the act of protesting.  Standing in front of a crowd of the most privileged people in this country -white, straight, cisgender, upperclass, able-bodied, males- on a gloomy, overcast morning and witnessing their jeers and sarcasm made me sick to my stomach.  Capitol Hill was not as crowded as I thought it would be; nevertheless, my heart felt as though a dull knife had punctured it.  Thoughts about the upcoming Women’s March on Washington were swirling around in my head faster than I could process them as I took in the scenery of the Inauguration.  I was feeling threatened even though I was around people of my own race.

In an article posted by the Independent Journal Review, veteran Bill Medler took refuge in the Thomas Jefferson Memorial during the chaos.  His message to the protesters was, “I served in the military and fought for people’s rights to be free.  I may not agree with what people are protesting, but as long as they are doing it peacefully, that’s alright by me.”  It is imperative that more people adopt this mindset.  Protesting is a form of civic engagement, which is tied directly to civil society in the establishment of a democracy.  Oftentimes, conservatives in the United States want to claim their support for the “democracy”, yet they are quick to criticize any person participating in democratic activities.  They typically regard this form of civil society as irresponsible, perilous, unnecessary, and illegitimate, but fail to provide a safe alternative to not be complacent in disagreeing.  I admit, some radical protesters make irresponsible decisions, but any rational person would understand that the majority should not be stigmatized by mistaken minority.  I respect the fact that this conservative veteran stands for cooperation.

I began to think of women of color, LGBTQ+ women, Muslim women, and all other marginalized women and how many other obstacles constantly constantly dragged their soul to the ground.  One girl I talked to on GWU’s campus said she was not going to the march. When I asked her why not, she responded, “I do not feel like marching with people who would not have uplifted my black female voice prior to this election.”  Being submerged in a sea full of ignorant, hateful enablers, I dissected exactly why I was going to the Women’s March on Washington the next day.  One reason why I marched yesterday was to show that I stand in solidarity with every woman around the world and recognize that each of our shackles are different. There are many aspects that factor into the identity of the female in the United States and elsewhere. However, many white women fail to acknowledge the intersectionality of feminism, and they constantly leave our sisters of color, of different religions, of different sexualities, etc., behind.  At the march, I remained very quiet to observe the women and allies around me.  Many white women only had posters with pictures of white women on them or posters with quotes from Susan B. Anthony on them.  Little did they care to find a quote from someone who did not uplift white women from the exploitation of women of color.  This election has quite profoundly demonstrated to world the racial, gender, and socioeconomic divisions in the United States, but the Women’s March on Washington personally showed me that white females have a lot of stretching beyond their inner circle to progress towards.  A pang of guilt and shame came to me.  With that, however, materialized my motivation to spread the importance of Intersectional Feminism.

I know why and for whom I marched.  I hope that in the future, the women with more privilege will open their eyes and stretch beyond their inner circles to embrace the unity in diversity of the female identity.  Do you march or will you march with a selfish agenda…or in solidarity?

Bibliography:

  1. Random Trump supporters
  2. independent Journal Review
  3. GWU freshman female
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Unity in Diversity?

Why is “Unity in Diversity” all over this blog?  Simply put, it’s my mantra. I was placed into a language immersion school when I was five years old, so I can speak, read, write, and understand Spanish fluently.  Being in a heavily diverse environment started developing my fascination with other cultures.  For example, I began to learn Arabic a year and a half ago and now  I dedicate a lot of my time to mastering both Arabic and Italian because language serves as a way to bridge gaps. That being said, diversity is important to me because engaging in conversations with people from different backgrounds than myself helps to keep me grounded.  Approaching our global society with multiple perspectives is important because we can learn to be more compassionate and empathetic through education.  I was fortunate to have been exposed to people from all walks of life at a young age, so I learned to embrace it; however, the education system in the United States prevents a lot of children from being exposed to an assorted range of viewpoints.  Implicit bias and institutionalized racism work together to obscure the minority perspective, especially in our education system.

Americans are seen in many countries as obnoxiously ignorant.  Although this perturbs me greatly, I acknowledge that their opinions stem from truth.  I aspire to become a diplomat for the United Nations so that I may help to bridge that gap. A key part of being involved in a network for international relations is understanding the dynamics of  specific relationships.  My goals for my career are to urge international governments to invest in self-sustainable education systems and reconstruct the domestic education system.  Mahatma Gandhi once voiced, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” Devoted to the notion of a better America, I strive to break the United States’ shackles of oblivion and incapacity to spawn a new era for the world’s rehabilitated superpower.  Although for the past three years I have avoided reading and writing due to insecurities, I have had an epiphany that made me realize how important those two skills are.  In my writing, the flow of words makes sense to me, but most people think it is incoherent.  I have faith that this Writing for Social Change class will help me improve my rhetoric so that one day I can move mountains with the

As of right now, I have a few creative initiatives that I am working on to present around the DMV area to advocate for social justice. Furthermore, I am a member of the NAACP, and I work at the Multicultural Student Services Center.  Through those two organizations, I have been able to participate in multiple projects spreading advocating for social justice.  Although for the past three years I have avoided reading and writing due to insecurities, I have had an epiphany that made me realize how important those two skills are.  In my writing, the flow of words makes sense to me, but most people think it is incoherent.  I have faith that this Writing for Social Change class will help me improve my rhetoric so that one day I can use my words to instill the values of diversity, equity, and community engagement into the youth of the United States.