The inauguration of a man I honestly thought would never get a key to the White House looms imminent. No matter how you look at it, change is coming. It may not have a whole lot of hope attached to it this time around, but things will be different tomorrow evening that’s for sure.
My daughter, who goes to college 4.5 miles away from where a President Trump will be residing, has had quite a view from the shotgun seat of those driving our country. When she decided where she would be going to school she was ecstatic about the fact that she would be a sophomore living in DC during an election year and an Inauguration. “I’m going!” she declared, regardless of who won. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Since then her excitement over seeing a President of the United States swear his oath to the country has dwindled. The outcome of the election isn’t necessarily what has tamped her enthusiasm. She understands how democracy works, at least in this country where the electoral vote bastardizes true democracy. It’s the volatile climate of the nation as a whole that has become somewhat disappointing.
Should I stay or should I go?
Attending the Inauguration presents security concerns, she won’t be able to leave the area at will and she’s not sure what manner of citizens she will be surrounded by. She’s not a stranger to DC or to political activism. At 14 she marched with myself and thousands of others through the DC streets at Jon Stewart’s Rally for Sanity. She has seen controversial political speakers on the Capitol Lawn, has rallied for candidates, and has no issue standing up for the equality of friends in the minority. But even she knows when to have reservations. When I asked her today if she will attend she answered,
“ Is it better for me to be down there in the rain hearing an oath from an electorate I don’t support, or should I stay in the comfort of my room watching it on TV from a safe distance and miss out on a historic event only 4 miles away? That’s the biggest question in students minds.”
The kid has a point.
Around her school many of her peers are conflicted. There is a wary feeling for some students, and how strong the feeling sadly has much to do with the ethnicity or personal life of the student. “Many don’t discuss it, some don’t know what to do.” She said. There are some Farewell Obama gatherings, but overall, for a college just a few traffic circles from the action, there’s not flurry of eagerness to attend. She admits that it is a liberally biased university, so that may attribute to the lack of political pride right now. No one is really excited, some are disappointed, many just want to move on.
This comment concerned me a bit. This is our youth, the future of the country, and they are looking to just move on? In some respects yes, we have to move beyond the election outcome, but we can’t sit idle the next 4 years either. Change never came from looking the other way. Who will make up our government, or more importantly, watchdog our government, if the next generation of adults grow apathetic about the most controversial election in history?
The good news is a lot of people ARE getting organized instead of simply moving on.
The Women’s March, which will be held Saturday morning, was organized fairly quickly and is more than a protest, it’s a response. Along with the March in DC there will be over 1,364 Sister Marches around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend, and I am one proud Mama that my daughter will be among them. I only wish I could be there with her. Please visit the website at www.womensmarch.com for more info. And check out their resource page.
On this eve of change, whether you consider it good or bad, I implore you to remember we are ONE nation.
I encourage you to get involved. Don’t be silent, don’t be absurd, but don’t be silent. Be vigilant. Change, real change, doesn’t come by settling down and getting comfortable. Stand up and work for what you want and believe in. Know your facts, be responsible and law-abiding, but do it from a warrior’s pose. I hope the next four years, if nothing else, cultivates a generation of youth willing to get involved and a population that comes together for the good of ALL it’s people.
***I’d like to give a shout out to Swamp Revolt who is offering free nonviolence and active bystander intervention training on 1/20 at numerous locations. According to the website, “Get trained on how to respond helpfully and nonviolently when you witness hate speech or harassment“ Visit them here at swamprevolt.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/jan-20-trainings/****
Photo by Pixaby
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