By Kimberlee Reiter Swift, Baltimore, MD
When I woke up to the news that Donald Trump would be our next president I, along with millions of my fellow Americans sobbed. I felt fear, anger, confusion and horror. What had we done? Why did this happen? What’s going to happen now?
So I sat and watched while we were called Snowflakes and libtards. I got into heated arguments with folks that I was “friends” with on social media. But this all felt sort of hollow to me. It’s easy to lay out a great argument behind your keyboard, but it’s much harder to put this into practice. When I learned that many of my friends were choosing to show up in person to voice their displeasure and concern with the direction that OUR country could go in under this new administration, I knew I also had to participate.
The real catalyst for me though was speaking to residents at the retirement community where I work. These women, in their late 80s, were headed to Washington to be part of history. No excuses about age, lack of toilet facilities, lack of seating, or threat of rain deterred these octogenarians from showing up. I knew I had to show up too. Not because I felt that if these 80-year-olds are going, that I had no excuse, but that marching is more than just me. It’s for the people who couldn’t go but wanted to be there, for the women and men who came before us to pave the way for civil rights In this country. In a sense it is an homage to the freedom fighters of the past that fought for the rights that we as women have now.
Now, I’m not claiming that we live in a perfect society that respects the human in all forms. We still have a LONG way to go. But these strong women, and the other men, women, children, seniors, gay, lesbian, trans, black, white, native, Asian, Hispanic, and even our 4-legged friends who joined me in front of the statue of Johns Hopkins on a cold and damp day in January, made me hopeful for the future.
Feature image: Baltimore Sun