I was knee deep in a women’s march that was by everyone’s estimation mostly white. A lot of white women were in the streets, with signs, pink pussy hats, and a look of determination on their faces. My thoughts couldn’t help but go to a place I did not want to go – where were they when …? Where were these women when a twelve-year-old child was gunned down in a playground by police officers after being dispatched and told that it could be a toy gun the child was holding? Where were these women, when one of their own, a 28-year-old woman, was stopped for a minor traffic violation, thrown in jail where she mysteriously died? Where were these white women when a father of six children and three grandchildren was killed in front of a convenience store by a police officer?
Where were they when I was standing, my four-year-old son on my hip, with other mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and children in front of the New Orleans courthouse steps to rally for the 17-year-old, another son killed in this country for being Black?
Yesterday, the Lying King and his Merry Men signed a ban keeping anyone of Muslim faith from entering the United States. I marched with white women who had signs that read, “You May Not Be a Racist, But You Elected One.” Thank you, Donald Trump, for bringing white women into the streets, for taking this country’s dirty laundry and draping it across the clotheslines that run North to South, East to West, in our backyards, from sea to shining sea. Thank you.
A young white girl, no more than 10 years old, marching held a sign that said “The Future is Female.” Thank you, Donald Trump for showing white women and white girls the sexism writ large on your and your all white male administration’s faces. After all, it was white women who elected you into office.
An older white woman marching held a sign that said, “Respect my Existence or Expect Resistance.” Thank you, Donald Trump, for demonstrating that while Obama may have passed a federal law allowing same-sex marriage in this country, no non-heterosexual person in this country is safe, and if you’re Black and gay, forgetaboutit.
A twenty-something-year-old white woman in a pink knit pussy hat held a sign that said, “We Shall Overcomb,” taking a page from the Civil Rights Marches of the 60’s. Thank you, Donald Trump, for saying you are going to build a wall between us and Mexico, because some white women have not been paying attention to immigration and the militarization of our borders and who we value as a society and who we teach our children not to value.
A white woman in her thirties held a potent sign, a drawing of a pink and purple uterus that said, “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Thank you, Donald Trump, for exposing unchecked capitalism’s other face, fascism, to a bunch of white women that have benefitted from the status quo that keeps them from piercing the thin veil that divides those who have from those who have not in this country. As New York Times columnist, Charles Blow said, “The women who entered the voting booth and pulled the lever for Donald Trump had to do a lot of compartmentalizing.” Thank you, Donald Trump for unpacking.
And to my white Jewish women who came out to march with other white women. The Jewish women who have grown up following matzo crumbs from table to bima and who say NEVER AGAIN rotely every spring at their seder tables: Thank you, Donald Trump, for reminding the Jewish ladies in this country that they are only white as long as every one else believes they are.
Most of all, thank you, Donald Trump, for giving my son a concrete example of why we march. He knows because he knows who you are that he needs to show up, rally and rail, protest, and do what comes naturally to him – challenge every thing that does not make sense in this world. Thank you, Donald Trump, for not making any sense.