The day after the inauguration they came, by the hundreds of thousands, to cities and small towns across the nation. Millions of women around the world marched in solidarity with the message made popular by former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: “Women’s rights are human rights.”
BPE sources said there were a half million people in Washington, D.C. We can’t say a 500k women because there were hundreds of thousands of men, not just in the nation’s capitol, but also in every march and demonstration around the world.
What started out as a humble Facebook post on the day after the election of Donald J. Trump to be our 45th President, grew exponentially — and to the woman’s surprise — to span the globe, inspiring millions of women and men to take to the streets and raise their voices in resistance to what millions more consider a grave threat to U.S. and global security: a Twitter freak who now has access to the nuclear button.
A Twitter freak that bragged about committing sexual assault — bragged about it so often in different settings to different people the only conclusion we can come to is that he really is guilty of multiple cases of sexual assault.
He bragged to Howard Stern and his audience that he walked in on the teenage contestants of his Miss Teen USA contest. He denied the allegations made by the contestants, but in his 2005 interview with Stern he said, “I’ll tell you the funniest is that I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it … ‘Is everyone OK’? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
President Donald J. Trump can get away with things like that. That same year he told Billy Bush he could get away with it with other women because he’s a celebrity. “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything — Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
President Donald J. Trump can get away with it because he’s a star, a celebrity — The Boss.
The behind-the-scenes video from his television show — for which he is still an executive producer (conflict of interest?) — that never seen (by the public) video is under lock and key, if it still exists, lest it confirm what some women and men have said about President Donald J. Trump when he was on the show — that the boss man was extremely misogynistic and propositioned women contestants with promises of jobs and other perks.
The man who told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that women who have abortions should be punished by jail time, if possible. The man who referred to women as dogs and pigs, and called one of his beauty contestants, Alicia Machado (who won the Miss Universe title in 1997), “Miss Piggy” because she had put on weight and “Miss Housekeeping” because she is Latina.
And it isn’t just President Donald J. Trump — trying to let that sink in — it’s his new found colleagues in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who are now trying to end the Affordable Care Act which brought equality for women in the healthcare industry — an industry that is still, despite the ACA, a for-profit industry that puts the bottom line above the health and well being of its customers. And they are attempting to do so much more that will negatively affect women and children in the very near future if they succeed.
How many more days Angela Davis? “The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.”
Well today it is 1,458 days until the end of his administration — if he lasts that long. If you didn’t watch her speech from the Washington, D.C. march, Davis, the long time civil rights activist, here’s a little of what she said: “We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples, who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux.”
Saturday was a women’s march, but it was about so much more than just the right of a woman to have control over her own body. A very important right to be sure, possibly the most important, but as every marcher there and around the globe understood, human rights for all are at stake, as of January 20, 2017.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to meet Angela Davis on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was as pleasant as she was strong.
Angela Davis, born in Birmingham, Alabama, the heart of the segregated South. The home of the late Alabama governor George Wallace who once famously said, in his January 14, 1963 Inaugural Address, “Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us, and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.”
If some of that sounds of more recent vintage, many Trump supporters have said the same things during the campaign last year. They love to talk about tyranny when they are forced to accept the equality of others.
Years later Wallace asked Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights leader whose blood was spilled in Alabama while marching for equality in Selma, to come speak with him. Wallace asked for forgiveness and apologized. Lewis accepted.
All of that happened many, many years before Saturday’s Women’s March, but to understand the depth, the gravity, the history behind this march, that extends back much farther than November 8, 2016, some of these things need to be said.
Like the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) failing to get ratified, in 1982. The opponents of equal rights for women are essentially the same people who are opponents of equality for all people.
So, the day after the election when that woman in Hawaii, Teresa Shook of Maui, posted on Facebook, “Grrr, maybe we should march on Washington,” the largest demonstration in world history was born.
A half million in the nation’s capitol. Nearly 750k in Los Angeles. Hundred of thousands in New York City — thousands in every state and territory in the Union. Millions of people across the United States: Here in California it was more than just Los Angeles, nearly 40k in San Diego, over 100k in San Francisco, 20k in the state’s capital.
Around the country: 100k in St. Paul, MN, over 100k in Denver, CO, almost 40k in Phoenix, AZ, 120k in Seattle, WA, 100k in Portland, OR, 75k in Madison, WI, 250k in Chicago, IL, 400k in New York city — President Donald J. Trump’s hometown. Over 175k in Boston, MA, 50k in the city of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, PA, the birthplace of our nation.
Millions of women, men and children around the nation gathered on Saturday, not just to protest the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, but to affirm an optimistic view for the future, that despite setbacks, the arc of justice will not be denied.
Setbacks that include the Donald J. Trump Administration removing the pages for AIDS, Disability Rights, LGBTQ rights and Global Warming from the White House website. He of course believes global warming is a Chinese hoax and, quite possibly the page for citizens with disabilities could remind American voters of the time he mocked a disabled reporter. “You oughta see the guy: ‘I don’t remember!’ ” Trump said into a microphone as he waved his arms about to mock the reporter. Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times, who has Arthrogryposis.
Donald J. Trump’s mouthpieces have been out in force since Friday, claiming fantasy is reality, blasting the media for reporting the facts, facts the media reports from every inauguration since someone got the bright idea many decades ago: how many people showed up to watch the new president take the oath of office. It’s never really been a topic of debate and acrimony. Let’s face it, January 20 in Washington, D.C. is generally no picnic, weather-wise. One year there could be 150k, another year 200k, depending on the weather and to some degree the person taking the oath.
For his 2009 inauguration President Barack Obama had nearly 2 million attend. This past Friday, maybe 250k showed up for President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. That’s a lot of people, but a significantly smaller number compared to the 2009 inauguration.
Not according to new White House press Secretary Sean Spicer. He called the news reports lies, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period! These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
On Sunday Morning Trump’s favorite mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway was on Meet the Press, arguing with Chuck Todd, spewing out one falsehood after another. And it was clear Todd was exasperated with her gaslighting.
“Don’t be so overly dramatic about it Chuck,” she said when the moderator asked why President Donald J. Trump asked Sean Spicer to go into the press room and tell a lie. She added, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood and they (administration officials) gave our press secretary, Sean Spicer, alternative facts.”
Todd, like most of his audience no doubt, burst out in laughter. He had to tell Conway, “Alternative facts are not facts!”
Remember that, for the next four years: “alternative facts are not facts.”
Trump himself, who was giving a speech at the CIA Saturday, said, “I made a speech. I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said, Donald Trump, did not draw well.’ ”
He also told the CIA people assembled that the news media has lied about Trump having a feud with the intelligence community. Doesn’t this knucklehead understand everything he has said and done in public since 1972 is saved on videotape or electronic devices in perpetuity? That includes everything he’s said and done since announcing his candidacy for president.
The new 21st Century term for this type of lying is “gaslighting.” Basically, it means (according to the Urban Dictionary) “[A]n increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim.” Or in this case, victims, like millions of victims, just here in the U.S. All of Donald J. Trump’s mean, disgraceful, misogynistic, xenophobic and racist, comments can be found on YouTube and other file sharing sites.
But now we’re getting into the weeds of a different issue.
Donald J. Trump and his minkies can lie all they want, but the facts — as reported by the police departments around the nation that counted — estimated to some degree of accuracy — the numbers of people attending the inaugurations and the marches around the world, especially here in the United States.
Millions of people around the world rose up on Saturday to voice their opposition, the resistance, to President Donald J. Trump — and his right wing cabal in Congress. To paraphrase Angela Davis, this will be 1,458 days of resistance.
Top photo from Washington, D.C. by Tim Maier