“I learned I had to stand for something, so I could stand to be me.”
– Martin Sheen
The Women’s March on Washington is next Saturday, January 21, 2017, the day after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.
And I, Melissa Edmondson, will be there.
My critical father asked me a simple question about this choice.
Why? Gosh, how can I answer that? How can I make my dad understand? How can I make anyone understand? How can I make me understand?
Allow me to borrow a few more words from Martin Sheen:
“I do it because I can’t seem to live with myself if I do not. I don’t know any other way to be. It isn’t something you can explain; it is just something that you do; it is something that you are. “
How can I say it any better than he already did?
I don’t know how to not be there.
I don’t know how to turn a blind eye to what is happening around us.
I don’t know how to make myself utter the word “President” before the word “Trump.” I don’t know how to watch as basic rights are being stripped away from the people I love. I don’t know how to watch a wall be built between two groups of people because they are different. I don’t know how to watch our country’s leader play footsie under the table with a horrendous dictator who kills innocent men, women and children with no remorse. I don’t know how to continue being the recipient of the “talking down to” that comes from the men around me. I don’t know how to watch men who don’t even know me make decisions for me about my body.
I don’t know how to watch my friend Jeff die because he is about to lose the insurance that pays for the treatments that are keeping him alive.
I don’t know how to do it.
“I don’t know any other way to be.”
I just don’t.
So, daddy, this is why. Is it the waste of time and money that you say it is? If we’re speaking in immediate terms, sure. Maybe it is. I’m not saving the world. I’m one small little pussy hat-wearing face among many. One little voice that will probably be drowned out by all the others.
But one day.
I will be remembered.
I will be remembered for speaking up. I will be remembered like the role models and heroes that came before me. My children will remember that I was not silent.
I will remember that I was not silent.
We have to fix this. We HAVE TO FIX THIS.
There is no other choice.
“I honestly do not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who chooses to do it.”
– Martin Sheen