Why I March

by Susan Cartmell


In a few days I will be in Washington DC participating in the Women’s March. The decision to go almost came as a relief, because I was ready to do more than fret or fume on Facebook.  I have watched the presidential election and months following with grave and growing concern.
I am concerned that the needs of the poor will be overlooked. I am concerned that the rights of Muslim Americans will be ignored. I am concerned that the civil rights of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and all people who do not identify as Caucasian will be further compromised, with dream-shattering and continued deadly results. I am concerned that policies to protect the earth will be reversed. I am concerned that hard-won rights of people of different abilities will be mocked or ignored. I am concerned that women’s fundamental rights to control reproduction will be up for grabs. I am concerned that few, if any, in this administration will advocate for LGBTQ rights. 
For decades now I have quoted Martin Niemoller's famous analysis of how easily things went wrong in Nazi Germany. I believe that my faith requires me to find my voice in moments like this. I don’t want to look back on this moment in history and be one of those folks who tells their grandchildren, “I never saw what was happening until it was too late.”  
I have also noticed that people in Washington, including the President Elect, have responded to political pressure when it was organized and strong enough. The best evidence of this was when the new Congress began by trying to eliminate the Congressional Ethics Commission, and quickly abandoned that idea under public pressure. 
For all these reasons, I believe it is time to stand up and be counted. My white skin and education give me a lot of privilege; along with that privilege comes a great deal of responsibility. I hope that this is just the first of many opportunities for people to make their voices heard.  

Susan Cartmell

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