Why I Marched
Women, Men and Children around the world of every age, race and religion came out to March on January 21, 2017. Estimates of the numbers around the world range from 3.3 to 4.6 million according to academics from the University of Connecticut and the University of Denver. The reasons to march were as varied as the individuals, but all came because they wanted to express how they stand on the issues of today.
The day of the march, I was visiting my father in Des Moines, Iowa, so I attended the march at the Iowa State Capital. I was amazed to find 26,000 people there.
So why did I go out on a cold, cloudy, Iowa day with temperatures in the low 40s?
I marched because I feel that many of the progressive changes made over the last 30 years are being reversed and many people are suffering and more will suffer as the changes go into effect.
I marched for women. The last election cycle brought out the fact that women are clearly discriminated against just because they are women. Women must work many times harder than a man to obtain their goals and are paid less than men while they are doing it. If a woman has strong opinions and works hard to implement change, she is often criticized, while a man doing the same thing is praised.
I marched against racism. The events of the last few years and the last election cycle have shown us that we Americans had a considerable amount of hidden racism that has now come to the surface and boiled over into overt racism.
I marched against Islamophobia. America is supposed to be a country built on the principle of freedom of religion. Yet Muslims are being banned from our country and discriminated against and threatened in every section of the country, every day. How can we say we are a land proud to have freedom of religion and religious tolerance?
I marched against Homophobia. I have many friends and acquaintances who are LGBTQ. I am afraid for them. I find it very disturbing that I am afraid for them here in the United States of America where we claim that all are “created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
I marched against Xenophobia, the intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. We have wandered so far from our ideals carved into our own Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
I marched for the environment. I marched against roll backs in regulations to stop climate change. I marched against those who do not believe in the science behind climate change. I marched for a better future for all of our children.
I marched to keep and reform the Affordable Care Act, believing that health care should be a right and not for only the privileged.
I marched against cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Many of our elderly and disabled people rely on these services to live with dignity and would be significantly affected by cuts to these programs.
I marched because “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”.