Donald Trump is now President of the United States. I was never a fan of him as a celebrity figure; I never really gave him a passing thought. He seemed to be a man made of fluff, extravagance, and very little substance — a man built of soundbites who thrived on attention. I, like many, rolled my eyes at his tweets and shook my head when he lead the birther movement against President Obama.
Thats why, when Trump took a ride down that escalator to announce that he was throwing his hat in the presidential ring, I didn’t take his bid seriously. I continued doing what I always did: I worked. I rode my bike. I read my books. I spent time with friends and family.
The more Trump talked, the more convinced I was that he would soon be out of the running. Surely, at the very least, decency and common sense would prevail. Right?
June 2015 – Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
July 2015 – Despite never serving in the Vietnam War, thanks to several deferments said of Senator John McCain, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
August 2015 – Angered by Fox journalist Megyn Kelly’s question asking him during a debate to weigh in on the misogynist things he’s said, Trump later responded, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her — wherever.”
September 2015 – During an interview with Rolling Stone Trump said of GOP hopeful Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! … I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?” In the same interview, he said of his daughter Ivanka, “Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . ”
November 2015 – Soon after the attacks in Paris, Trump was asked if the U.S. should instate a Muslim registry. Trump gave a non-answer by saying, “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely. There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.” When pressed by a reporter if Muslims in the United States would be required to register, Trump said, “They have to be — they have to be.” Trump later said he misunderstood the question and thought the report was referring to Syrian refugees, but then he added that a Muslim registry is “something we should start thinking about.”
Oh, and then in December 2015, Trump read aloud an email statement he sent to the press (referring to himself in third person) and said, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” In the same month he also praise Russian President Putin, saying, “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader,” Trump said. “You know, unlike what we have in this country.”
I could go on. I could mention that Trump claimed he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue in NYC, shoot someone, and not lose any voters. Or I could share that he claimed that as President, he would bring back worse torture than waterboarding. We could talk about how Trump frequently insulted those who protested his rallies and, at least one time, said he would like to punch the protestor in the face. There’s also all his talk of the dishonest media, which is basically any journalist or media outlet that reports on something that makes Trump look bad. Meanwhile, Trump does nothing but benefit from the extensive media coverage. Remember when politician and former KKK leader David Duke endorsed Trump? Instead of taking a stand against white supremacy, Trump simply played ignorant saying he didn’t know David Duke. Didn’t even know anything about him. Didn’t know anything about white supremacy.
And we still haven’t touched on the video and audio that became available from 2005 or 2006 where Trump bragged about grabbing women’s pussies because he’s famous (his words, not mine).
The writing was on the wall. It was so clear. This is a man who does not respect the humanity of others (Latinos, Muslims, women). This is a man who doesn’t want you to know the truth or get answers to difficult questions, as evidenced by his treatment of journalists and media outlets such as New York Times. This is a man who suggested that we need to identify all Muslims in the U.S. and deny entry to Muslims who wanted to enter the U.S., which sounds so similar to what happened to Jews prior to the Holocaust.
And what did I do? Nothing, really. I talked about how much Trump bothered me. I talked about how he’d never make it to the White House. I voted for Hillary Clinton believing there was no way this man, who strikes me as being unhinged, was going to be my President.
I was part of the problem. I sat back. I let others in my community rally around the issues that matter. I watched segments from John Oliver and Samantha Bee. I threw a few dollars toward causes when I could. I voted. I was very passively involved, because I didn’t feel like anything more was necessary.
That is called privilege.
And so I marched. I didn’t march to be anti-Trump. I did march to say that I’m listening to what he says and watching who he is appointing to his cabinet. I marched to show support.
I support people of color.
I support the environment and science.
I support women who need access to Planned Parenthood (which includes me).
I support Planned Parenthood.
I support access to quality healthcare for ALL.
I support marriage equality.
I support people who express their religious identity whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.
I support those who are agnostic or atheist.
I support and acknowledge the great risk and dedication of police officers, while also standing in support of police reform. We cannot be blind to the fact that racial bias is present in our lives — even in the lives of police officers.
I support every child’s access to quality public education.
I support women who choose to be mothers. I support women who choose not to. I support women fighting to have access to the same salary as her male counterpart.
I support those living with disabilities.
I support the rights of others to express an idea, thought, or opinion that I may disagree with.
Not everyone feels like they have a voice. Not everyone feels like their voice will be heard. That was what the Women’s March was all about.
If we all raise our voices on the issues that matter and follow that up with ACTION, what will we accomplish together? We can’t leave the burden on other people’s shoulders any longer.
Sometimes knowing how to start is most difficult. I’m thankful that the Women’s March provided some steps we can take next. We can also call our representatives and share our views. We can read books by experts on something we want to learn more about. We can volunteer our time to causes and organizations we care about.
I’m fired up and ready to go!