Tomorrow I will be marching in the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women. It will be a peaceful demonstration to show the world the people of Atlanta can stand together against inequality and to promote social justice for all. I am for social justice and women and it’s happening on a Saturday afternoon so I could bring the kids and my friends were going and well I thought…why not go?
But this week, several people have questioned me about marching. They have asked why I am going…why I feel the need to go. I heard in their voices, in the way their eyes narrowed when they spoke, the unasked questions behind their question:
Why would YOU go to that? What difference will it make? Why ruffle feathers? Why be counter-cultural? What do YOU have to protest about? Why stand up when it is just so much easier to sit down and wait and let someone else fight the good fight?
Listen, I get it. It’s hard to be the voice that is ALWAYS different from your friends. It’s hard to be loud and draw attention to your beliefs when it seems like the whole world just wants us to be quiet and soft and go along with the status quo. It’s hard to be the one that has to pipe in when someone makes a disparaging comment EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. But you know what? We can do hard things. And this is why I’m going to the march…because…
I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
I am marching in the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women because I matter. Because you matter too. All of you. Every person who has felt ignored and unheard and unseen…YOU MATTER. Your voice matters. Your beliefs matter. Your opinions and feelings matter. They should not be swept under the rug. They should not be ignored.
You should not be patted on the head like a petulant child and told to wait four more years until “your side” wins. That’s the thing…we’re all on the same side. This is not a march against American ideals. It is a cry to ask America to live up to its ideals.
The following are NOT my reasons for marching:
- I am not marching to protest the legitimacy of the 45th president.
- I am not marching to be anti-police, or anti-Whites, or anti-anything really.
- I am not marching to protest against the peaceful transfer of power in Washington DC.
- I am not marching to belittle, demean, degrade or bully anyone who feels differently than I.
- I am not marching for fifteen minutes of fame.
I am marching in the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women because I want my children to know that they matter. More importantly though, I want them to know that I matter too. I want to show them that we can all get along…that what unites us is more powerful than what divides us…that love will trump hate in the end.
I want my children to know that we don’t have to sit idly by and watch when we see injustice, but that we can band with other people and take actions, no matter how small, to help improve our country. I want to shine a light on the fact that racism still exists and should be stomped out wherever it erupts.
I feel like I have spent the majority of my life wanting to jumping up and down, wave my hands and scream at the top of my lungs: I’M HERE! I BELONG! I MATTER! But it’s hard to stand up and be loud when the world is constantly telling me to sit down and stay small. But tomorrow I will stand up. Tomorrow, I will be loud. Tomorrow I will march.
I’m marching in the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women because I love our country and I love my family. I’m marching because if we stand together long enough, yell loud enough, disrupt the conversation enough times, things may change.
When I am asked why I’m marching, the first question that comes in my head is “Why aren’t YOU marching?” What is holding YOU back? I know there’ s the kids’ basketball games and someone has a birthday party and you’re tired and not sure if you’ll be back in time to get dinner on the table. I know it might rain and you’ll ruin your blowout. I know the kids might complain about not going to the park or that they would rather be playing XBox. I know it takes courage to show up and push a stroller and watch a toddler and engage a school age kid. I know. But still go. You can do hard things.
I’m marching because I can. Because I’m stronger than I think I am. Because I can do hard things. Will you come with me? Not in Atlanta? There are 616 women’s marches around the world tomorrow, January 21st, 2017 held in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington which is expected to have nearly 250 thousand people attend. Can you come to one? Or if you can’t come…how can you support your fellow human beings?