Why I Marched January 24 2017, 0 Comments

 

I took a tiny risk this weekend. It was so small, it’s barely worth mentioning, but it was a risk nonetheless. On Saturday, I participated in our local women’s march, and then I shared a photo of it on the Stewart & Claire Instagram feed. I lost a few followers, including one who told me she’d need to unfollow me. It happens. 

I’ve always wanted my company to be a force for good, but I never thought it needed to be political. As a citizen of the US, I vote in every election. I put dollars toward causes I believe in. Then I left it up to our representatives to do the dirty work of governing. After our most recent presidential election, I feel the need to engage more in our democracy and to speak out civilly. 

I didn’t attend the march on Saturday because the candidate I voted for lost. It had nothing with being a Democrat or Republican. I went to show solidarity with people who are the most vulnerable right now. I went to defend the American values I hold dear, including diversity, public education, and a free press.

I’ve talked to many friends and relatives who voted for our current president. They did so because they’re afraid of terrorism, of losing the right to bear arms, of threats to law enforcement and of job loss to foreign workers. I hear them, and I’m happy to work together for positive change, but I cannot be tolerant of intolerance.  

At first, I thought Stewart & Claire’s solution for dealing with the aftermath of the election would be to share messages of beauty and kindness. These things are positive. They’re not alienating. They can’t be argued with, right? But I started to feel the creeping sensation that I can’t spread the pretty parts of the world without acknowledging (and standing up against) some of the ugly. Racism and sexism are alive and well. Our natural environment and our news media are under threat. People in our government now refer to lies as "alternative facts." 

I will continue to spread beauty, love and kindness, but I will also speak up when I perceive potential injustice. I hope you will join me, and if you disagree with my positions, I hope you will do so with the same respect I will give you. Namaste. 

 ---- The moving song in the video above was written and performed at the Women's March on Washington by MILCK  along with a group of women she assembled in advance. ----