|Photo by Kimberly Kirchmer|
The 2019 Women’s March had been on my calendar for months. January 19th I would rush from my Writers of Kern meeting to find Judy at Mill Creek Park so we could show our support and raise our voices for the March’s unity values, alongside a few thousand other Kern County residents. It had been an exhilarating event in 2018, and we expected more of the same.
I’d paid no attention to the conversation and controversy on the national Women’s March scene. Then, on the day before the March, one friend texted me to say she had some misgivings, didn’t know if she could participate in light of what was going on. Within moments, an email arrived from a friend in another state who said essentially the same thing. Those notes woke me up and sent us searching for information.
Articles about charges of anti-Semitism within the national leadership, ties between Tamika Mallory and Louis Farrakhan, and the YouTube video of “The View” segment with two of the Women’s March leaders surfaced. Judy and I dug in, reading, watching, discussing, trying to figure out what was going on.
Sure, there were issues on the national level, attitudes that could be adjusted, problems that needed to be worked out. But we live in Bakersfield, where, among our local leadership, none of those issues had cropped up.
The Women’s March Kern County committee members are our friends and colleagues. We knew their values and principles. We witnessed how long and hard they’d worked. And we could not let them and our community down.
So we marched. Chanted along with thousands—women, men, kids, youth, future leaders—from all walks of life and all there for the same reasons. Cheered the speakers and entertainers. Met up with friends—old and new, and friends-to-be. Enjoyed the camaraderie of this purposeful gathering. Became buoyed up to continue voicing our choices, hopes, and demands for a better community and country.
Did you attend a Women’s March this year? Why or why not? If so, what was it like and how did you feel about it?
~ xoA ~