Yesterday I had the honor & privilege of participating in the Women’s March on Washington. It was an incredibly inspiring, uplifting and empowering experience. I got to march with an old friend from elementary school, her husband, and several other people. I talked to people from all over the USA, laughed at the clever, creative signs, got misty eyed at others.
One of the things I saw that really moved me might surprise some folks. Along the march route, we came across a group of counter protesters. They had a large cross that had Repent and Be Saved painted on it, as well as some other signs with a Christian focus. This group was in a protective circle made of march volunteers who held hands and Caution tape to encircle them. A police officer was with them as well. To me, this represented one of many things I was marching for: freedom of speech for all, not just the people I agree with.
A few thoughts went through my mind during the pre-march rally and the march itself:
How many march attendees voted in the 2016 presidential election, provided they were eligible to vote? I’d like to think all of them did, but it’s possible they abstained from voting because they didn’t like either option and didn’t feel passionate enough about independent candidates to vote for them.
I wasn’t a fan of the signs and chants that skewed more negative. Granted, many were very funny in their snark (the “we need a leader, not a creepy/freaky tweeter” chant was particularly amusing), but I’d rather focus on what can be done to support women, minorities, immigrants, refugees, Muslims, LGBTQ, and others who feel marginalized and disenfranchised than expend my energy throwing hate at Tr**p and his cabinet.
When a chant of “Black Lives Matter” started up around me, I overheard someone behind me say “well, all lives matter.” I am still a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t turn around and tell that person (who I believe was a 20-something white girl) “not today and definitely not here.” I didn’t want to get into an argument on a day that for me was full of positivity, especially not with a stranger. But I sincerely hope she gets woke by her peers very, very soon.
I saw a sign that said “Hug a Journalist” and that made me very happy. I know many current and former journalists and you could say I’m one, too (though I tend to use the term “writer” to describe myself as I do so many different types of writing). A few times I yelled “God bless the journalists,” especially when I saw someone with a press pass. Someone in my group (I’d never met her before the march) said “except Fox News” and I bristled and said, “No, them too. They need the support, too.” We didn’t get into a discussion about it, but again, I believe in freedom of speech.
Seen at the Women’s March on Washington.
I’m hoping anyone and everyone who marched – and those who weren’t able to, for whatever reason – will channel the energy from the march into activism. This includes calling and writing their elected officials, donating time and/or money to humanitarian causes, even being kinder and more compassionate to all, which is as simple as holding open a door for someone or letting the person with only 2-3 items ahead of you in line at the store. The Indivisible Guide has some excellent tips on how to advocate for political change.
Most of all, this little girl is etched in my brain. She was probably 3 or 4 years old and she didn’t say a word as she stood holding her sign, letting people take pictures of her. May she grow up in a world where she knows her immeasurable worth and value, where she can protect and support those who live in fear of persecution, where she can love who she wants, call herself by any name she chooses, be treated the same as her male peers, and speak her truth without being shut down.
What a crazy clusterf**k of a year it’s been. I’m ready for 2017, but there are a few things I’d like y’all to do better, okay? Hence my annual resolutions for everyone else. On with the show.
Stop using “Ch-Ch-Changes” as an editorial or article title (editors and journalists). If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen this popular David Bowie song used as a title for an op-ed, editor’s note or even an article, I would not need a day job. Now that Bowie is no longer with us, how about honoring his memory by NOT using this song as an article title anymore?
Participate in the 2018 California State Fair by having an exhibit in the exhibition hall (California counties).
Create a buddy movie or sitcom starring Gwendoline Christie and Miranda Hart (British film/TV industry). If you’ve watched “Game of Thrones”, you’ve likely seen actress Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, the tall, powerful female knight who has sworn to serve the House of Stark. She’s fabulous.
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones.” Strong, powerful, flawed character and one of the reasons I keep watching.
Gwendoline Christie all dolled up for awards show.
Just as fabulous is the statuesque actress and comedian Miranda Hart, who had her own sitcom on BBC and has been in several films, as well as on PBS’s series “Call the Midwife” as Chummy.
Miranda Hart, British actress and comedian.
Why not put these two tall, lovely British ladies in a buddy movie or sitcom? Rumor is that “Miranda” is returning – how about a guest spot for Gwendoline, hmm, Miranda? Maybe Miranda dresses up as Brienne for a fancy dress party and ends up in some wacky situation where she is mistaken for Gwendoline?
Make US Postal Service-compliant stationery and cards (stationers and greeting card makers).
Declare a moratorium on remakes of movies that are less than 50 years old (Hollywood). I feel like I’ve made this resolution before but once again in my life, I am freakin’ Cassandra yelling at the Trojans to not let that damn horse through the gates. Reading this round-up at Den of Geek got me extra annoyed. I get that there’s an assumption on the part of film producers and major studios that a remake has much better luck at doing well at the box office, but come up with some new material, okay? Or just make another sequel or prequel to an existing property, since you’re doing that already.
Accept that email is not a secure form of communication (federal government, Democratic National Committee, and, really, everyone).If we learned anything in 2016, it’s that email servers can be easily hacked. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of ignorance on the part of politicians and others about email security. Unless you work for the NSA, CIA or FBI, or you’re intentionally using email encryption software or services, assume that none of your emails are safe from prying eyes, and act accordingly.
Create/produce a TV drama about Baltimore that’s positive & uplifting (Josh Charles).
Kill Flash Player already (Adobe). I feel like this has been a resolution in years past and yet this stupid thing continues to exist and slow down everything on my computer. Please, for the love of Steve, just kill Flash already.
Get a smartphone already (Pops). He’s had an iPad for a few years now, and the iPhone is not that much different, yet Pops refuses to get a smartphone. He says “my phone is smart enough to work,” and I appreciate that, but the moments when you are dealing with crappy traffic because your Garmin doesn’t tell you about road closures are moments you can avoid with a smartphone that’s equipped with Google Maps and Waze.
Restore Jerry’s Subs & Pizza to its former glory (DC, MD and VA sub-loving citizens).