The camaraderie of it, the stand it makes. The way it affects the kids.
How it puts action behind our words. The children need to see that.
With the march we create meaning in our own space. We gain an experience with others. The woman’s march of 2017 and the Million Women’s March in Philadelphia that I attended in 1997 were both an act of solidarity and a rally. We championed ourselves and elevated our causes.
Today, we will provide another teachable moment for all the parents who are hard-pressed to explain the world as it is today to their kids. For all the Americans embarrassed by this pendejo that is not my President. We will spark conversations and debate. Hopefully draw notice. Hopefully force individuals to grapple with hard questions. Maybe even open eyes.
And I figure it’s different for some who grow up and into a faith. I imagine it’s like a baby’s blanket that carries comfort and familiarity. I imagine that a religion may grow and intertwine into your thoughts especially if coupled with ritual and a sense of perpetuating the past. I pray, too. For re-formation. And as a descendant of slaves I long for a back space and delete that I can never have. But I also enjoy waking to the joy of existence in this America, even in this intermittently hostile winter. This home of choice for my father who emigrated here from Tobago. A choice based on the simple fact that America is a beacon. A beacon of hope and opportunity. These new immigrants are better than us. Brave. Ready for the challenge.
So, why do I march?
You experience something. You are part of something large and which stretches and extends from the past. The struggle.
And America’s promise will not be broken. America’s schoolchildren should be learning this message of “Why do I march?”
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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!”
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” Keep your dogma, keep your misogyny. Soy bruja. I’m the witch you think I am, with the magic of the blessed. Our sex a wound. Our sex a power. Our sex a beautiful potentiality.
We do it for all of the children, so that they can bear witness to our disapproval of this man who has nary a redeeming quality. We reaffirm our own existence. We will not be diminished. Individually formidable, together we are more. Today we march. Today we will look into each other’s eyes. And today we will be heard.
By Kortenay Gardiner