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Opinion: Spotlight on America

This weekend marks the week anniversary of the end to a historical election season. Disbelief, shock, anger, betrayal, sadness, were only some of the emotions that permeated through the air as a man who stood for racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and many more –isms stepped up to the podium to give his inauguration speech. What was a nightmare during the election season is now a reality.

This weekend also marks the week anniversary of a historic march that took place in cities all across the globe. Millions came together and marched in protest in rejection of the man who would soon lead their country. In Los Angeles alone, about 750,000 people marched down the streets from Pershing Square to City Hall. Millions of others protested in the streets from the Washington D.C. to London to Nairobi, Kenya.

Whether or not the protest changed the inauguration of Donald Trump, the Women’s March was a phenomenal success.  It showed that the people living in America are not and do not agree with the principles that Trump stands for. It showed that as a country despite our elected president and the many that voted for him, we do not agree that women should be “grabbed by the pussy” or that people should be put on registries because of their religion.

On Jan. 21, millions physically demonstrated their rejection of the intolerance that Trump stands for. Each poster, chant, slogan, was a sign that the battle against hate is not over yet. No one can really predict or change what Trump will do with his presidency; however, voicing your opinion among the mass of thousands of others can pressure the man in the White House to rethink many of his policies.

Looking back, it’s still mind-blowing how much hope and empowerment that surged through every individual as they stood in peaceful unity. What was most apparent, other than the seas of pussy hats, was the diversity among the marchers. Walking down the streets of downtown Los Angeles, I saw people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, political causes, and social causes coming together in solidarity to protest.

As I stood with my “Pussy Grabs Back” poster and “Make America LGBTQ+ Again” hat, next to me were women holding “Black Lives Matter” posters and “Trans Rights” posters. The intersectionality present within the march exponentially increased the significance and importance of the protest. As I stood in solidarity with thousands of others, I felt overwhelmed but all the more powerful that I can make a difference. The overwhelming amount of youth present at the march, provided assurance and faith for the future.

Even though the height and intensity leading up to the election is over, the spotlight is still on the American people to show those that feel scared, betrayed, and angered by the outcome that they still have our support. It is our responsibility to show that no matter what the numbers of the votes may show, hate and bigotry has not won. It is now a crucial time to use the momentum generated from the marches to take real action. Whether that be it following the 10 actions laid out on the official Women’s March website, or volunteering at an organization in which fights for causes you believe in, we all hold a responsibility to take action to create a community that can truly reflect who we are as people and our values.

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