Hola Mi Amores,
I’m not sure where to begin. We are a little over one week into Trump’s presidency, and I feel like I’ve aged several months. With each executive order he signs, my feelings oscillate from outrage to fear to sadness. I have an overwhelming desire to just take a nap for the next four years.
Inauguration Day was rough, but the day after comforted my soul and encouraged my spirit. My friends and I showed up for the Women’s March in Santa Cruz, and I spent the entire day smiling.
There were estimated to be 10000 people at the Santa Cruz chapter of the March, which is a huge percentage of its population. My friends who are longtime residents said it was the biggest demonstration that they’ve ever seen in Santa Cruz. [The weather probably played a role, as people were too nervous to drive over the hill to San Fran or Oakland – where we all go for Pride – in the heavy rain.]
The organizers were not prepared for the size of this crowd so we couldn’t hear any of the speakers or singers, and that was totally fine. The number of people who showed up all over the world gave me a lot of hope for the next four years. There is a large and strong resistance that is committed to showing up for the people that our president plans to trample on.
When we walked by Planned Parenthood, some of the doctors and nurses were standing on the (screened in, for protection) balcony, cheering us on, and everyone went CRAZY. The attack on Planned Parenthood not only breaks my heart, it makes no goddamn sense to me. We want to prevent abortions by…limiting people’s access to birth control. (And not all people. This mostly effects low-income peoples, while many of us privileged folks – Trump’s daughter included – will remain able to manage our own bodies and if/when we get pregnant.) The complete lack of separation between church and state in regards to this issue also infuriates me. And I’m sure that we all saw the picture of him signing this executive order surrounded by OLD WHITE MEN.
And can we talk for a quick second about him signing off on his refugee/Muslim ban on Holocaust Remembrance Day? Like, why?? You wanted to give ammo to the Resistance? (Some people’s cynical/paranoid response: probably.) Turning away Jewish refugees during WWII is a stain on US history; why would we repeat our past mistakes? Why does making America great again mean that we have to be assholes? Whyyyyyyyyy?
That day was amazing, but that high didn’t last long. Pretty much everyday, I woke up anxious to check the news because what did he do now? The onslaught of bad news (and ‘alternative facts’ OMG) is crushing. I suggested to Danny last night that we take a ‘sabbath’ from the news every Saturday, as a day of rejuvenation to maintain my stamina. Because the reality is that I can’t sleep through the next four years and, in fact, I’m going to have to work, hard, as an advocate and an activist. We don’t have to wonder if we would have marched with MLK Jr. during the Civil Rights era; we can march in this civil rights era. This moment in history requires that we shake ourselves out of apathy and complacency and complicity and show up.
Plus, I can’t spend the next four years consuming media and fuming. I need to do something with my anger. I need to act. To that end, I spent my Saturday night (on-call for work and) calling all of the swing vote senators for DeVos and Sessions’ confirmations to voice my dissent. (And I was super encouraged to discover that many of those voice mailboxes were FULL.) The Compassion Collective leaders provided me with a list of the senators’ phone numbers, as well as a few potential scripts to use.
I also took some time to write in really tiny lettering on postcards to my senators, telling them about why I marched. This is Action 1 of 10 to be completed during Trump’s first 100 days in office, organized by the Women’s March. It was super easy to do, using the Women’s March Unity Principles. [Granted, I live in California and my senators are already fighting the good fight. But I imagine this still bolsters their spirits for the battles in Washington.)
This time in history also calls for a constant checking of one’s own privilege. Angela Peoples’ sign at the Women’s March and the accompanying interview was an important reminder that even us super-progressive women need to check our whiteness. Intersectionality is the answer to the question of how we achieve true equality. [And let’s be clear: true equality is going to be uncomfortable to those of us who are privileged. But we’ll get it’s that later.] People of color have been fighting this fight for a long time. They don’t need white women to save them; they need us to get behind them (or, in some cases, beteeen them and law enforcement).
In other news, Danny and I went hiking both days this weekend, Saturday at Pogonip and Sunday at Henry Cowell with my friend, Stef. Everything is still super muddy from all the rain, but we had to take advantage of the rain finally stopping. And, as I mentioned above in relation to the Saturday News Sabbath, self-care is more important than ever right now. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
And February is going to be a super fun month. My friends and I are going to San Fran the weekend of the 10-12th, Danny and I are seeing The Growlers on the 17th, and then we fly to NJ on the 18th for several days with the babies! And the fam! And the besties! 😍😍😍 I can’t wait! Look for an email from me in the next day or so about my itinerary. I am already super excited! 🤗💖🤓
Love yous very much,