On this anniversary of the Women’s March protesting the installation of the Trump regime, I share below some thoughts from that day. I wrote these after joining the marchers in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis protest began downtown at the Shelby County courthouse, and it proceeded up Second Street to the National Civil Rights Museum.
A large crowd here joins a global movement to say that a fascist regime is not acceptable.
I am a bit saddened by who is not here—in a majority African American city where many residents struggle to make ends meet, I see relatively few people of color or working poor. Most of the marchers look like comfortable, educated, mostly white liberals. Sloganeers chant their hopes for a different reality, feeling pretty good about themselves. I notice a good bit of socializing in the gathering at the courthouse. But it’s wrong for me to generalize. There are many stories here, and people have come for a lot of different reasons.
The disenfranchised, the working poor could not be here because they were working. A few showed support along the parade route, waving and shouting from the doorways of their places of work. Likewise, I noticed a few knowing nods from police officers directing traffic and protecting the marchers.
The question now will be whether the energy and passion of these events will be transformative rather than merely self-affirming. Will we be different people because we marched? Will we begin to live differently, relate differently, adopt new perspectives and values because of our shared experience? Or are we more committed to the lives we’ve always lived that brought us this hateful regime? ♨