I would like to acknowledge some sad truths about the Women’s March.
- The majority of White Women(WW) voted for Trump, Women of Color(WOC) did not. WW are now being heralded for saying what People of Color(POC) have been ignored for saying.
- BLM was standing up against Trump before he was elected, and WW did not protest until they realized how much they will be personally effected.
- Having a peaceful protest with no arrests is a luxury that only white people have. History, recent or otherwise, tells us that no matter how peacefully POC protest they will be met with violence and there will be arrests.
I am sure that there are plenty of other ironies and hypocrisies that I don’t even realize as a white man. I don’t mean to say that there was anything wrong with the Women’s March or that no White Women have supported POC. I just want to list these as examples of the continued discrepancies we will face as more people realize what is happening in America.
It reminds me of when my wife and I joined the Peace Corps. Suddenly there were 34 of us in a group who were supposed to support and rely on one another, but we were a cross-section of America, and America is divided. Our group was Black, Brown, White, Straight, Gay, Jewish, Palestinian, Christian, Atheist, Rich, Poor, etc. Since we had a common purpose, we were put in the same room and expected to act like everything was fine between us. It wasn’t.
BLM and the Women’s March have a common purpose, because they are fighting a common oppressor. WW and POC are both standing, but that doesn’t mean that they are standing together. We also have the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and now there are going to be marches on Washington by the LGBTQIA community, and a march by Scientists. The more people who join the resistance the more division it will have. It will be more and more apparent how different protesters are treated differently by police and media. People who march in one protest will judge and mock people who march in another. We can’t expect centuries of division to vanish overnight because we are in the same boat. In fact, there will be a lot more conflict now that groups that do not have peace with each other are forced to stand together for a common cause.
We. Must. Be. United. We should not just pretend that everything is okay. We have real conflict and pain that separate us. We shouldn’t gloss over our differences like they aren’t there, or ignore them. We should be talking about why we haven’t supported each other, but we have to do so with love and respect. We can’t get angry at each other, even though there are legitimate reasons to be angry. There is too much at stake for us to fight one another. When the oppressed reject each others struggle, it is only the oppressor who wins. Donald Trump’s administration loves that we are WW, WOC, POC, Indigenous People, LGBTQIA, Scientists, Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, Liberals, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, and any other category we can fall into. 100 small groups are easier to attack than one big one. No matter our differences, we cannot let them take away all of our rights because we can’t agree on whose rights to fight for.
We must unify our resistance and celebrate our diversity.