Progress and Why I March

This post was originally published to Facebook via the Notes application on January 21, 2017.
Progress is not achieved by tyranny. It is not achieved by aggression. It is not achieved by anger or fear or hate or placing blame. It is won by hard work, by grit, by perseverance. It is won by collaboration and respect. As tempting as it is to try to overpower the opposition, that is not what makes us the United States of America. What makes us great, what makes us united, are our differences, our resilience, ingenuity, and our ability to rise together out of struggle and adversity. History has proven this country’s ability to cast aside our disagreements and fight together; to find solutions, to enlist the compassion we have inside us to share the burden of progress. Throughout this country’s remarkable history, progress never came easy. You know that. It will not come easy now, wherever you stand. When you believe in something, or you believe against it, call your state and federal elected officials. It is their job to represent your voice. The more of us who do this, the more frequently we do this, the closer we come to progress. Live your life as an example to others. Engage in conversation with those who don’t agree with you. Strive to learn but also to educate. Be respectful. Be courteous. And then, progress will be right around the corner.
Today I’m walking in the Women’s March in our nation’s capital.
There are important things to know about me and a great deal of other women here today:
1. Referring to the Women’s March participants in absolutes is foolish. If you don’t know what I mean, pull out all of the tshirts from your closet. They’re all tshirts, but are they all the same? No.
2. I do NOT hate men. Most of my best friends are men. But when I hold up a sign that says “You owe me 21 cents” and they don’t know what I’m referring to, that’s why I march.
3. I am NOT marching to complain. I AM marching to peacefully invoke the freedom of expression this country allows me to have. I denounce violent protesters.
Why I March:

In solidarity, I march
to show that I don’t accept misogynist bullies in government. I resist authoritarian government. Tyranny is not America. A government of the people, by the people, that is America. The top 1% does not represent me. They do not understand my priorities, my struggles.
I march to demand that the United States government fight for environmental, social, and human justice, and that it not favor greed, money, or backdoor deals.
I march for protection of the environment, LGBT rights, women’s equal pay, healthcare and insurance for all, freedom of the press, and so many other rights that I never thought would be threatened.
I march because I oppose the carelessness and recklessness to appoint severely under-qualified cabinet members.
I march because we don’t live in a developing country wrought with organized crime, squalor, and lawlessness. There are people and places in our country that are struggling deeply, but it is no reason to question this country’s greatness, to undermine the most powerful nation in the world by using alienating and aggressive speeches.
I march because I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. We are united. We are the United States of America.

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