What happened yesterday? In Ashland, Oregon, Washington, DC; New York, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, London, Paris, Berlin, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Austin and so many more small towns around this country and the world.
What happened? I use a reference from the 1940’s when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The Emporer Hirohito said “ we have awakened a sleeping giant.” That’s what happened yesterday, January 21, 2017.
For the first time in over a year, I felt hope that my country and other countries around the world could create a new way of being and doing. Women all over the world united in a peaceful protest against misogyny, hatred, bigotry and stupidity. The world of women and LGBT people and African American, Latino communities have come too far to be marginalized by a mentally ill man and a collectively mentally ill political party. The similarities between 1941 and 2017 are real except for one exceptional thing. We will wage war without using guns or bombs or nerve gas. Our military weaponry are our voices, our determination, our hope!
I had wondered for the past couple of years why women hadn’t become more active, why more college educated women had voted for Trump, why most Republican women are blonde. Yesterday, I learned that like 1941, people want peace. They don’t want the disruptions to their daily lives but once it happens, once the giant awakes, once the inequality is felt in the marrow of one’s bones, once one group so flagrantly and arrogantly tries to usurp the power of the many, the many are willing to disrupt their lives for however long it takes to bring peace and kindness, equality, and new ideas for governing a country, ourselves and our communities. I thought the LGBT community would coalesce into a force after Orlando, I thought that the African American community would coalesce after all the police murders around the country like they did in the 60’s. I never expected it would be the women who would become the dynamic force for change. Yesterday, all over the world, all those communities came together and the Giant woke up!!!!
The police department in Ashland, Oregon estimated that 6000 – 8000 people showed up. They got the 6000 but couldn’t calculate the extraordinary number of people after that. And that’s Ashland, Oregon.