“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations, can never effect a reform.” -Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday, my wife, daughter and I went to the Women’s March on Washington- Fresno because it was true to ourselves.
People were there for so many reasons.
We were there to stand with the disenfranchised and for empowerment, equality and justice for women everywhere
From Joan of Arc to Susan B. Anthony to Rosa Parks to all women across the globe, I was proud to join my wife and daughter with millions of others as we marched in solidarity for civil rights, women’s rights and human rights.
We believe in women. We believe in human potential. We believe in dignity. We believe in peace. We believe in love. We believe in inclusivity. We believe in compassion. We believe in equal rights across the country and across the globe.
Not everyone marching aligned with our full perspective of the world, but that’s okay. Not everyone marching was there for the same reasons, either, but that, too, was okay.
We came to represent all women.
To best identify our motives, beliefs and values, we, like many others, decided to make a sign.
We included a drawing of Rosa Parks on it- the black woman who refused to yield her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955, who became a historic symbol of protest against injustice in the Civil Rights movement and still today.
Since her act was frequently marginalized by people saying that she must have been tired to not want to move seats, the quote we chose from her said,
“The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
It took guts to stand up for what is right for Rosa Parks. She was persecuted and imprisoned. She suffered. She risked her freedom and personal safety.
In the 2017 Women’s March on Washington- Fresno there wasn’t even police presence that we could see. If there was danger, we likely would have left. There was no legal consequence and certainly no fear of loss of safety. In fact, it was easy to express solidarity with women- almost too easy.
As Rosa Parks was a symbol then, we felt it important that she remain a symbol now.
Another quote we chose was taken from Shepard Fairey in his “We the People” image series created for this specific march. It read, “We the people defend dignity.” If there is one indelible right that all humans should share, it is the right of dignity and mutual respect. Every great mystic and spiritual leader expresses dignity and respect for others as a primary tenet of living a righteous life. It’s too easy to decrease the dialogue to shouting and ignoring, and to resort to name-calling and bigoteering. It’s too easy to write adrenaline-filled comments online and say things to others that we shouldn’t say. Having dignity is to hold ourselves accountable to a higher standard, and to expect the same from others.
Lastly, we included an American Flag and the words, “God Bless America.” We recognize the incredible privilege that it is to be a citizen of this country. We are grateful that this country mandates freedoms. We are grateful this country mandates human rights. We are grateful that this country encourages public discourse.
I’m proud that we went. I’m proud of that sign. And I’m proud that our daughter was able to join us.
Knowing that I marched for my wife, daughter and for billions of women everywhere will always make me smile
Seeing my daughter looking up to my wife holding that sign will always make me proud.