Wow, what an amazing day. On Saturday, January 21st, 2017, I marched alongside hundreds of thousands of people of every age, race, and gender with the same mission: to have our voices be heard. We stomped across our nation’s capital, cardboard signs flying high and fuzzy pink hats shining through the fog, refusing to be ignored. It was an amazing and exhilarating experience, and finding out once I got home that people across the country and across the WORLD were marching too filled me with hope.

I realize that I am privileged in being able to attend this historical event. Not all who wished to attend were able to, whether they felt unsafe, uncomfortable, or were simply unable to come due to financial restrictions, limits in mental or physical ability, etc. I realize that as a white woman, I marched today for rights that women of color have been fighting for endlessly without being heard. But after watching Friday’s inauguration, I needed this march. A lot of people needed this march. I spent Friday in mourning. I spent Saturday joining and uniting with others. And each day for the next four years and beyond, I plan on fighting. 

I plan on making calls, I plan on writing letters, I plan on speaking up and helping others be heard. I will not wake up tomorrow pretending like this march is over. I will not move on with my life satisfied that I walked around DC for a few miles. No. I will listen to the people who have been struggling to shout for their entire lives and I will join them.

I hate saying that this election was a wakeup call for our country, but it was. It was a wakeup call in the sense that it showed us that there are so many people in this country who are being ignored, who are being treated unfairly and unjustly, and we cannot stand by while we continue to let this happen. Let us use our privilege to really make true change. If you don’t like what our President, Congressmen, and other elected officials are doing? Go tell them! Do something about it! Don’t post on social media, feeling that jolt of pride each time you receive a “like” or a “love” or an “angry” reaction. Please do more. So many people need you to do so much more.

It is a shame that it has come to the election of a racist, sexist, Islamophobic bully to make us realize this. But let us not bow our heads, shrug our shoulders, and say “oh well, we tried.” Let us fight, let us shout, and let us march into the next four years with fierce determination and meaningful action.

 

A reminder to readers: the opinions expressed here represent the author and not the UD Honors Program’s official stance.

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