The United States has a new President: Donald J. Trump. He is one of the most controversial and unorthodox individuals to lead this nation and this fact has not gone unnoticed. He has threatened to undo almost every progressive policy signed into law during the Obama administration.
Because of his ascent to power, there was a GINORMOUS Women’s March on Washington, which actually took place in many cities around the world, the day after the inauguration. The latest estimate is that there were probably 3 million women worldwide who marched to send a message to the Trump administration.
The messages varied. Some were concerned about Trump’s proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, mortgage assistance to low income people, LGBT rights, and other policy issues. Others were concerned about the way President Trump has allegedly treated women. There were numerous other concerns, and the plethora of creative signs about them carried during the march demonstrated the creativity of the human spirit.
The marchers clogged up streets in many areas, and even women in faraway places like Iceland joined the party. The march’s participation far exceeded the expectations of the organizers. Numerous celebrities spoke at events including Angela Davis, Janelle Monae, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Gloria Steinem, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd, and many others. Moreover, the marches were reported as being very orderly. Men and children also participated in the marches.
One unusual aspect of the march was the participation by Black Lives Matter and other African American groups. Previous to now, there have always been complaints from Black women that the women’s movement ignored the plight of women of color. This time, Black women were a major part of the event.
Now that women have demonstrated that they are a force to be reckoned with, the question remains…what now? Where do we go from here? The euphoria exhibited by march participants can be translated into momentum around issues that affect us all.
Women can ignite a renaissance of resistance. But resistance to what? Basically, anything that impacts women, who represent one-half of the Earth’s population, affects everyone. The changes that we are bracing for in the United States as a result of the new presidential administration will touch everyone in America in one way or another. With women at the vanguard, a new day can actually become a reality.
Americans are in for a very interesting ride. Major changes are facing us. Because of this, whatever benefits the majority of people should be enthusiastically embraced. And like many other situations that Americans have faced, Black Americans stand to be doubly impacted.
Yes, these times may be troubling and uncertain, but some of the uncertainty can be erased by deliberate action on the part of the collective. This is a time when the seven principles, the Nguzo Saba, should seriously be implemented. Now more than ever, we need Umoja –Unity; Kujichagulia -Self-Determination; Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics; Nia – Purpose; Kuumba – Creativity and Imani – Faith.
With that said, the Black women who took part in the Women’s March on Washington, wherever they may reside, need to inject into a post-march agenda these principles, and apply them to the Black community. They should also reach out to Black men and others who are ready to work in coalition to oppose the looming threats facing us as a result of an electorate gone wild enough to elect someone to office who is determined to set us back to previous conditions.
We must remember that we, the electorate, outnumber those who are in the seats of power. Our vote and civic participation can make all of the difference in what happens to us. It is time for our community to change, and we are faced with a great opportunity to change things so that the community benefits. We have only to make the decision to do this. A luta continua.