Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something
out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the Negroes of the South and the women
at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty
soon. But what’s all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages,
and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody
ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best
place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have
ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head
me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a
man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a
woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to
slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus
heard me! And ain’t I a woman? ~
Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I A Woman?
Truth was bought and sold four times. Imagine that. Again, Truth, a human being, was bought and sold, by other human beings, four times.
That is where the minds and hearts must go in order to understand where we are headed and where we have come from. I must be clear. Though you may not see a wooden block upon which people are chained and priced and sold, slavery still exists. It exists within our prison system. It exists within poor communities. It is rampant among trafficked women who are paid for sex.
Today, when my sisters are protesting and speaking out for the rights of all women, I raise my voice in solidarity! We must actively fight against racism, misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, and hate every single day! When the policies and practices of the Trump Administration promote and perpetuate violence, hatred, and prejudice, we must fight it with acceptance of all people, fight it with peaceful protest, and fight it by standing up and resisting violence, resisting hate, resisting racism, and greed. We must March for Our Rights today, in order to Rise Up tomorrow.
We must be real and raw. We must have the courage to lift the collective pain that a history of slavery causes, and acknowledge the rotten system that profits from excluding black and brown people, women, the poor, and those coping with a disability from access to the same opportunities, resources, and mentors as those at the top. As we march, we carry the pain of the First Nation’s women as they must watch the lands from which they bore children, and raised them, and cared for this land like their own child be taken from them still, their resources stolen and sacrificed and contaminated for the interest of profit. We carry the pain of the black community. Within the black community the struggle of segregation never ended. The struggle of racism continues to see that they remain poor, incarcerated, ill, under educated, and unemployed at a disproportionately high rate to their white counterparts. We carry this pain as it is both old and new in nature. This type of pain is heavy and weary, but as we march together in the spirit of love, solidarity, sisterhood, and the celebration of humanity not monstrosity, we extinguish hatred. We make ourselves larger in our love and hate has no choice but to shrink and scurry away for it speaks big talk but it has no genuine substance. It is void of humanity and therefore is not a living concept, but a concept of death. We must celebrate life with each step we take and choose to say, “Enough racism! Enough misogyny! Enough Islamophobia! Enough xenophobia! Enough about the wall!”
If a woman can go through the pain of childbirth thirteen times and a man can still look at her as a weakling, then he will never know strength and he will never understand life. If a woman can work on her hands and knees in the hot sun all day with no water and not enough food and still carry on raising her children and teaching them right from wrong when a man can dismiss her work as less valuable, then he will never appreciate right from wrong, love from hate, generosity from greed. If a woman can live her whole life in slavery, getting beaten into submission, without ever learning to read and write, but still be intelligent enough to fight for her dignity, her rights; her human value, when a man who attends the finest school will believe that women are less capable and inferior, it is because women do not need to be educated in a school to learn that life is the most painful struggle, the bloodiest, hardest, longest road we walk. Women know when they push life into the world that it screams and cries before it laughs and jumps for joy and once that first breath is taken there is no turning back. So we must fight because we are all here and we all matter.
Today, We March. Tomorrow, We Rise Up. Right now, we call for love. Right now, we fight to put an end to a racist system that has failed communities of color, women, immigrants, the poor, children, and is failing everyone whether they are aware of it or not. Discrimination against black women and women of color is discrimination against all women. Hatred against immigrants is hatred of the self, since we are all immigrants from some where. Martin Luther King understood that his fight for desegregation here was a fight for people the world over. His words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” still ring truth, when we watch the Trump Administration’s racist, xenophobic, violent, misogynistic, bigoted, narcissistic rhetoric threaten the livelihood of each and every man, woman, and child in this vast and varied country.
That is why we march. That is why we will continue to march. That is why the march will never stop. As long as women continue to hold mother nature’s gift of life, we will march together as sisters from all nations, in all stages of life, with each other’s struggles.
No one owns feminism. Feminism believes in equality of all people. As women, we must continue to see ourselves in our sisters. We must identify with and empathise with the struggles each of us faces whether we know the details or not, whether we experience it or not. We must say that no struggle is less of a struggle. We must work together to remain together.
We must continue to unite us, and not let the grotesque, mutated, corrosive, and cancerous plague of Donald Trump’s racism divide us.
Trump is not the source of the problem, though the system likes to make money from saying he is. The system is self-perpetuating. It is parasitic and only cares about self-preservation. Trump is a part of that.
But, we are the solution. We have always been the solution and always will be. Women, we will see our children through. We will walk with our sisters and our brothers. We will hold higher than ourselves the need for love, the peaceful fight for justice, and the struggle for freedom. We will spread a message of resistance against all that tries to tear that down or build a wall to stop it from coming.
It is hate that does not belong. It is racism that does not belong. It is xenophobia that does not belong. It is anti-islamic sentiment that does not belong. It is violence against muslims, jews, and people of color that does not belong. It is police brutality that does not belong. It is betrayal of the First Nations that does not belong. These things must end, not the lives of our sisters and brothers.
So, in solidarity with my sisters from the First Nation, sisters of color, sisters who immigrate, sisters who are imprisoned, sisters who give birth to and raise children, sisters who are homeless, hungry, and without work, sisters who are denied an education, sisters who are raped, beaten, trafficked, sold, used, or mistreated, sisters in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, Palestine, Vietnam and all across the world, I march for your life. I march in the knowledge that the safety, education, money, employment, shelter, food, clothes, and opportunities I experience in my life are not more valuable than your existence.
Your struggle is mine. We are one. We are sisters. That’s why we march, today.