We are on the march again January 21, 2017
As a kid I read saddened newspaper accounts of blacks brutally beaten when they stood up to segregation. I watched urban riots burn swaths of Detroit and LA to rubble. I watched demonstrations at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 turn into a police riot. I was one of thousands that surrounded the Pentagon to protest the war in Vietnam. I worried I’d seen the last of those days.
Today proved me wrong. Marches from Salem, Oregon to Washington DC and from Athens to Melbourne drew greater crowds than those opposing the war in Vietnam and the grand march for Civil Rights in Washington, DC when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his I have a dream speech. This was greatest outpouring of resistance of my lifetime, and it took a misogynist blow-hard tempered-elected president to bring them out.
Some see four years of gloom and doom ahead of us, but I see another of those fertile times of revolt when great art is created and profound words are written. Our democracy has been jostled to the right by ultra-right forces but the resistance to the current unprepared president may be just the boost it needs to get back to the American democracy of Jefferson and Obama where government is a force for equality and justice.
As before, young people organized themselves as the truest form of democracy. The test will be if today’s enthusiasm translates into local elections where Republican incumbents are put out to pasture. As they say, the hard work is in the details. I am up to the challenge and I urge my readers to get involved in whatever way you can.