Most of our family participated in Saturday’s March Denver. We’d been talking about it all week, mostly in a hypothetical fashion, until 9 am and then I said “I’m going. Who wants to come?”
Turns out, most of them wanted to come. (We didn’t force #6. We didn’t even make him tell us why. It could have been his shoes were too tight, but no one was going to force him into political speech. First Amendment, you know.)
First uncomfortable moment: the bus ride. My husband, bless him, doesn’t like the bus.
Next uncomfortable moment: having to explain to my 9 year-old daughter why there were so many signs about pussies and what they were telling Trump to stop grabbing. Trump’s words, forced into my lexicon… and now, into my children’s.
We marched around downtown. None of us brought a sign, although two of my kids wished they had. Instead, we read other people’s signs. We listened to the chants. We walked next to strangers who had the courage to speak up. I tried to focus on what we agree on: decency. A future for our children. Mutual respect. Education. Health care. Our family didn’t stay for the speeches. As we were trying to get back to the bus stop, we got swept back into the march route. “You’re going around again?” I asked.
No, these were all people beginning their march. What I had read was going to be a gathering of 34,000 people had swelled to >100,000.
At one point, Jonah said, “I feel vaguely uncomfortable.” Not unsafe, or frightened. Just uncomfortable.
Which is right. It is uncomfortable to stand up against injustice. It is much easier to ride the wave of mainstream culture. Dominant thought.
Even when we have much common ground, standing up for what we believe is hard.
Let’s be real: none of these nice, Colorado protesters had any beef with us. Colorado went for Clinton in November.
Even if I had made my Christian pro-life, pro-Black Lives Matter, pro-refugee, pro-immigrant, pro-Obamacare, pro-science sign (weirdly, I didn’t see any other signs that were exactly what I would have wanted to say), no one there was going to castigate me.
But it’s time. It’s time to listen well and speak up. It’s time to stand for truth and justice, the vulnerable and the good-of-the-many over the good-for-me. It’s time for me to stop shying away from the uncomfortable conversation and the uncomfortable protest in order to stand with the vulnerable.
Did you march on Saturday? What would your sign have said?