The Problem with the Women’s March on Washington and White Feminism

womens-march

I debated whether or not to share this story, and then I thought it could be used as an educational experience for others, so here we are. Right after the election, I underwent a flood of emotions, like many of you. I experienced everything from depression and anxiety to outright anger and aggression. I was lit. I was ready to take on the world, and I wanted to DO something about it. I soon learned that many of you felt the same. Then, I saw that an event, a women’s march in Washington, D.C., was spreading quickly around Facebook. I thought: YES! This is exactly the type of thing I’m looking for! To march with thousands of women and show our power! I logged onto the national page and realized there was no page yet for Louisiana, so I worked with my co-admin, Britney, and we created one. We were excited and ready to get to work.

Very quickly, we realized things were not what they seemed on the surface. The original name of the march, the “Million Women March,” was problematic. It appropriated the important 1997 black women’s march. If you Google “Million Women March,” you’ll see stories of the upcoming Women’s March before stories of the 1997 march. Already, this white women-led event was overtaking black history. Fortunately, the national organizers realized that mistake and decided to change the name. Much to our dismay, they changed it to “Women’s March on Washington.” Yet again, this appropriated the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” If you Google “March on Washington,” the upcoming women’s march yet again shows up above an important moment in black history.

Many of us at the state administrator level had issues with the new name, and we spoke up relentlessly. The national organizers refused to listen. Women of color called out the name as problematic. In response, they were blocked from the secret FB group and their own event pages and their comments deleted. Soon enough, there was a post from the national organizers stating that any “negative” comments would not be tolerated. We still spoke up, and state admins began dropping like flies, either being blocked or quitting because they could not stand for what was happening at the national level. I had become friends with quite a few state admins from across the country, and I watched as they became dismayed and frustrated and saddened by the seeming lack of interest from the national organizers in being inclusive, even though their message was one of inclusivity.

Then, we saw a statement released from the national organizers regarding the board, which now included a couple women of color. This statement, however, did not include the actual duties of these women, which gave some of us pause. Were they just figureheads? The statement definitely seemed aiming to appease us by saying, “Look! We have women of color on our board! We are inclusive, everything is fine!” But they were not transparent about the actual work and duties of the women of color who had recently joined the national board, and they still refused to change the name of the march.

A group of us gave multiple suggestions toward a name change, the most common and best being just to drop the “on Washington” part of the name and call it “Women’s March.” We felt this was a good compromise. From a national perspective, that’s what everyone seemed to be calling it anyway; it was in line with the e-mail addresses and website being worked on; and most importantly, it took away the appropriative part of the name that was alienating many women of color. Seems like a win-win, doesn’t it?

The national organizers didn’t think so. They put the one black woman from the national board on a conference call to explain away and support the name, allowing her to speak for all women of color. They gave a lot of explanations, everything from, “We are not appropriating, we are celebrating,” to “We will never make everyone happy” and “We’re weak if we’re divided.” Comments included things like, “I don’t give a shit what it’s called, we all need to stand TOGETHER” and “We cannot change the name again. That will show that we are unorganized and weak.” Perhaps the most concerning explanation was that this was never supposed to be an “anti-Trump” march, but an all-inclusive women’s march, there are many white women in this country who voted for Donald Trump, and we do not want to alienate those women from marching. This was said on a conference call with women of color voicing their concerns, only to be shut down so as not to alienate white women.

I, along with many of the other state admins, kept speaking out. A press packet was released, including an FAQ with the question “Is this march inclusive for women of color?” with the answer, “The WMW is an evolving effort and it was founded by white women. These women recognized the need to be truly inclusive, and brought together the national co-chairs, now reflected a balanced representation. The teams of organizers and volunteers working for the march, by extension, are now more fully reflective of the diversity of our nation and this trend will continue as we build steam,” essentially proving that inclusivity was an afterthought. I felt gross. This was definitely not what I signed up for. I debated quitting. And then I decided that staying in and fighting was better. If I quit, that was one less dissenting voice. If they weren’t silencing me, but they were silencing others opposing them, I needed to stay and continue to give voice to these concerns until I was also blocked. So I did. And those of us who stayed and kept voicing concern continued to be met with a wall, some being silenced altogether through blocking and deleting comments.

What finally caused me to resign was the national organizers laying full liability on the state admins, meaning that we would personally be responsible and liable for anything that went wrong, because there is no national organizational umbrella to absorb the liability. Unfortunately, I cannot afford that. So that, on top of feeling gross about their “lovely” rhetoric with no action to back it up, and in fact actions that went directly against the rhetoric, led me to resign my position as the Louisiana state admin.

Britney, my co-admin, and I released a statement of resignation on the state page, as we wanted to ensure anyone who took over the responsibilities of being a state admin knew exactly what they were getting into. We were immediately met with a flood of nasty comments from white women (and yes, I went back and checked on who wrote each and every nasty comment – they were all white), all Hillary Clinton supporters and supposed feminists. We saw many comments calling us “divisive” and saying these women were disappointed in us because we were “hurting the cause.” Here are a few of the comments we received:

“This is a real shame….. Divisiveness will destroy. I am very sorry you 2 have made this choice.”

“I am so very dismayed that this current breach in the organization simply furthers the overall divisiveness we are experiencing in the whole country. Sad. Sad. Sad.”

“To say this is disappointing is an understatement. This type of divisiveness is dangerous, especially now. Can we really not get together on something that is so important and has such enormous repercussions?! Unity and action are the only antidotes to the despair so many of us felt in the wake of the election. If we can fall apart this easily, what hope do we have? I will still be attending the Washington D.C. march, and I hope it sends the message that we intend, rather than sending a message of division, indifference, and weakness.”

“I totally understand anyone’s unwillingness to take on personal liability or time, but I also think this thing only works with NUMBERS behind us. Though I’m sure the experience was frustrating, I wish this wasn’t an outright removal of support. To multiply the marches bc of travel availability is awesome, but to divide the march bc of organizational issues, I personally believe hurts the message, including the inclusivity one. We will still being going to DC to make the biggest impact possible, and everyone should personally make sure to be inclusive amongst their own circles of who they can reach.”

“(Maybe hindsight) It would have been less disruptive and better for the Louisiana Chapter, the Louisiana March and the National March if current LA administrators had quietly stepped down and found others to replace them so as not to hurt positive momentum for the PSN effort. There could be a separate but related and linked Louisiana March page which could be more “inclusive.” I do not want my state being the typical “divisive downer!” As one who follows posts on all the pages it does not look good from an organizational perspective and is disheartening to all of us after such a positive start. I encourage all of you to stay linked into the National effort because there is strength in numbers. Here is a link to the latest Slate article (which contains divisive language itself assuming “white women” are “racist” or somehow exclusive). PLEASE let’s not let others take us low – but stay HIGH! Give every one of our sisters the benefit of the doubt. I am going to Washington and will support you all here in Louisiana. MARCH ON!”

And then came the doozy – a white man who decided to comment with this gem:

“You make valid points about liability issues. However, you say you’re not discouraging anyone to attend, but you repeatedly accuse the National March of being insufficiently inclusive and guilty of cultural appropriation, despite admitting that the National Board’s WOC disagree with you. I don’t understand how you can’t see this doublespeak undermines the integrity and positive spirit of the march, thus potentially discouraging attendance, but to others, it’s plain as day. And that, ultimately, is divisive, and frankly, it’s small-minded; my Latina immigrant wife and I would love for there to be more language on the national page and in the overall messaging about Latina and immigrant women, but you know why we don’t make an issue of that? Because we’re not going to get mired in superficial identity battles and prefer instead to focus on the core cause – lifting up all women. Furthermore, I know I’m not alone in believing that such an uncompromising focus on a label and managerial tactics are exactly what keep progressives divided. They’re problems the Right never has because of how monolithic and uncritical they are, but they’re problems that have prevented us from achieving progress for all for far too long. So if not getting your way on a label and deleted comments compel you and Ms. Huber to step down, then it’s probably a good thing you chose to do so, but I vehemently agree with others who said that you should’ve done so quietly. This isn’t about just what you want the march to be, but all women and all those who wish to align with them for greater respect, equality, and empowerment. And accomplishing that requires compromises. So please, I beg you, for the sake of the national march and the greater movement, stop sowing the seeds of division by posting contradictory comments that, albeit unintentionally, threaten to undermine the success of the National March for all women. Thank you and God Bless.”

The flood of comments was beyond frustrating and disappointing. All of these people were supposedly “allies” and “liberals,” yet many were calling for us to “quietly step down” and remain silent about the issues we were facing. The rhetoric here was frighteningly similar to that of Trump supporters right after the election, calling for us to blindly follow the leader in the name of the cause, we all need to unify and stand together, divisiveness is dangerous. And the most terrifying part was that all the people who said these things did not realize they were perpetuating the very thing they claimed to be fighting against. They did not realize that calling for unity is calling for submission. Calling for us to be quiet, shut up, and go away without a word is oppression at its best.

Activism is divisive. That’s the nature of it. If you take a stand against Trump, you are being divisive. If you plan to go to Washington, you are being divisive. I do not agree with the silencing of opposition. And I’m going to assume that many of those who made the comments above have likely said they are also against the silencing of opposition. I’m sure none of them want Trump to silence them. But in the next breath, they told us that the best course of action would have been for us to be silent. Activism is not about silence.

This entire experience has been one of white feminism, and it has shed light on everything that is wrong with it. White feminists charge forward, trampling on women of color along the way, appropriating their history when it’s convenient and taking their tokens out of the box for statements only when they further the white feminist agenda. They actively silence their opposition, calling it “negative” and “divisive” and “hurtful to the cause.” They sit back on their laurels when everything is “normal,” compartmentalizing the issues of women of color as “black” problems or “Muslim” problems, problems that don’t affect them, but “we’re allies to the cause,” so their lack of action is excused. They hide behind lazy activism – safety pins and Hillary Clinton secret Facebook groups. They leave it to women of color to fight their own battles most of the time. But as soon as something comes along that directly affects white women, for example, a presidential candidate bragging about grabbing pussies and overturning Roe vs Wade, they jump up. They yell and scream. They call on women of color, and all of a sudden they care. Yet they don’t take the time to understand their own roles in systemic oppression and how their actions and words contribute to it.

They don’t seem to realize it’s just as important that we speak up among ourselves and have these tough conversations as it is to oppose Trump and his policies. It’s just as important that we call out other liberal people who do not practice what they preach. It’s important that we do not use women of color, or any person of color, only when it’s convenient, which is exactly what seems to be happening with this national march. The demands of women of color, even within the confines of this march, are not “radical” or “divisive.” We need to stop calling them that, period.

We must listen. We must be uncomfortable. We cannot compromise the beliefs of women of color in the name of unity and not being divisive. We cannot separate the problems of people of color from our own, absolving ourselves because we’re “liberal,” so it’s not our fault. We cannot hide behind our lazy activism and say our work is done.

I will not be going to Washington. I cannot in good conscience attend a march led by white women who actively silence their opposition and use women of color as tokens when it’s convenient for them. However, I DO believe in everyone’s right to march, so I am not discouraging others from going. And that is not contradictory or confusing. I can choose to personally not agree with something and still encourage others to exercise their own rights.

But I would also encourage everyone to undertake some introspection. Because until we work to understand our own roles in the system and oppressing voices and how our actions and words contribute to it, our efforts to be “inclusive” and “not divisive” are nothing but hollow promises.

Do not be quiet. Stand up for what you believe in. Be uncomfortable. Be willing to be called on your own shit. Don’t be lazy. Don’t call for unity when what you really mean is “shut up.” Listen. Don’t hide behind secret social media groups, technology, your safety pins, or your skin color. Don’t accept the new “normal.” Don’t silence opposition. Don’t tell others they shouldn’t speak up. Don’t berate others for doing what they believe.

Let my experience with the Women’s March on Washington, and the fallout I received for resigning from it, be a lesson. Don’t continue to perpetuate the very things you claim to fight against.

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38 thoughts on “The Problem with the Women’s March on Washington and White Feminism

  1. Pingback: The feminist movement has a problem but pink hats aren’t it |

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  3. Thank you for writing this. I agree. I am a white feminist, and I am saddened to hear this is how it went down, and glad your are speaking up and following your conscience. I did some political work back in the 70’s and found that deep differences show up along gender and color lines, and this is the opportunity to work at the deepest levels to create healing within ourselves and true change in our community. We whites have a lot to learn, and we don’t even know it. We enter blind to many things and stay blind and ignorant to many aspects of the realities of people of color. We must get over this and become willing to be educated. I did not go to the march for physical reasons, but I watched it live on the internet. One thing I heard said near the end was, “Get involved, and if you don’t know where to go, follow the women of color.” I may not be quoting it perfectly, but that was the gist of it, and my partner and I looked at each other and nodded. We must find our way of creating real community now. I have been sidelined from real political activity for a while now, as many whites who have been sitting on our butts while others have been doing the work and taking the hits. I am deeply grateful to women of color for putting up with us at all, and I so see the need for us to be willing to be sensitized to your reality and appreciative or your experience and wisdom. Thank you. I hope to team up soon, and please call me out! I need to make the journey. Thanks for including us. I know we can be a drag, but maybe we can get up to speed, too.THANK YOU.

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  5. I totally support your stance, and fully accept your reasoning as to why you could no longer support the event. I also apologize for all the whitesplainers on this page and the original website :S This is why I don’t support these types of mass events (but do engage in other activism work) because the empowering message/protest gets so watered down as to become useless. I got into it with someone in a Hillary lover type fbk group, (which am only in because my sister added me) because I didn’t agree that it is unacceptable to carry signs with female anatomy illustrations (e.g uterus) on a Women’s March. Apparently this is highly exclusionary to trans-women and men (!?) No matter that being forbidden to draw attention to the female bodies renders you unable to protest abortion rights, contraceptive pill access etc, which I’m sure was the purpose of some such illustrated signs. Liberals hold some of the most ungrounded viewpoints you can come across, totally clueless as to lived realities and structural basis of oppressions. Also I find it interesting that often their ‘love and tolerance’ ethos quickly crumbles when an opposing viewpoint to the groupthink is voiced.

  6. The problem is also the assumption that every white woman who opposes Trump is magically a “white feminist” who never speaks out against people like Trump or what he stands for until it is convenient. Yes, this banter does cause division because it judges all white women as the same, like you know our intent, what we’ve been through, what we think, what our lives our like, etc.
    Listen, i voted for Hillary, well i wanted Bernie, but that is a different story. But one of my main reasons that i have been against Trump is because he is a xenophobic racist. If you actually talk to liberal white women, you would find out too, that this is a main point to their opposition.
    No matter what we do, it is never right or good enough, and we are just being labeled as failing to fix everything based on our skin color. How is that not racist?
    Where I live, white people have marched right next to people of color all throughout history. This isnt a color issue, the problem is who controls the country. The people in charge, government and corporations, are not the ones marching. The people marching are regular people, and regular white people dont have a magic wand to make it all better. I mean look at it… Clinton won the popular vote, and that included mostly white people, but Trump still won.
    This march was in opposition to Trump and his administration and all who support them. Yes, getting angry over what to name a march, the national leaders of the march and then turning it into a “all white feminist are self serving and racist” is damaging, not helping, your cause.
    Millions of women (and men) of all backgrounds stood up against the direction this country is now going, due to Trump and his administration. What he stands for, the people who were chosen for his cabinet and those who support this administration need to be our concern and target. This march was successful in doing what it was meant to do and that is to oppose Trump. Turning this into a “white women hate us” because of your beef with how a few national leaders handled your request to change the name (i mean, women marched in Washington, what other name would fit?) is divisive and degrading to what women in this country have been fighting and dealing with for hundreds of years.

  7. One of the organizers in LA is a producer for “Dancing with the Stars” and another is an LA Energy Healer, and another an event organizer. Who are these people and what kind of background or activist lineage to they have? To be honest, I just laughed. Then today when I saw the pink kitten hats, I thought of Playboy Bunnies, frivolous silly and very white. I am white myself, but this crowd is playing both ends against the middle, and I would be embarrassed to be there. When I wrote to the website and asked how they would continue their work after today, one of the LA leaders said “We will continue the conversation” and another said “Don’t be negative.” Yes, Trump as set many horrible things in motion, but what do these women have in place to continue their agenda, and a lot of the remarks on tier FB page sounded like they were going to party, not a protest. I’m sure this will blow away, because I see a lot of ideologies being blown around, but little more.

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  9. You have made an excellent point. Thank you for this article. I was going to the Womens March in Oakland until I started reading and hearing about the internal inequality of the organization of these marches. Now I’m going to the Change Fest in Sacromento which is inclusive and about unity and I believe came into being because of the inequality and low blow silencing going on in the top levels of the women’s March organizers. I am very happy you had the courage to speak out about your experience with the women’s March organizers. I have gained a perspective on African American women’s rights activism I didn’t have before simply because I am not African American and no one had explained how white women’s rights activism has stepped on African American causes and organizations. I think this information will make me a more effective and discerning activist and feminist. Thank you for your perspective and wisdom, and courage to stand up for your ideas and not be silenced yet again by mainstream white feminism. This is a great inspiration for me. Thank you.
    Sincerely, Blue Ryon

  10. While I agree with a lot of points made in your article, you seem to attack white feminists a lot and belittle their experience with oppression. A white women can have feelings and can be oppressed independent of women of color and that should not belittle or make women of colors experience any less real. I think it is dangerous to say all white women want superficial change and don’t have real oppression and sexism in America or that people attending and organizing the march don’t want to listen or help people who have it worse off. I am a white women and I agree I am more privileged than other women and other minorities but I am not arrogant to that fact and I do want to help. To be honest your tone and how you describe white feminism is offensive and gets away from your main argument which IS important. If you were silenced and your opinion was not properly heard that is not okay to point it all to white feminism seems a bit much.

  11. Thank you, Candace. Your insight is important. I understand that Whites often feel the need “to save” and “to direct” the course for minorities. But we want to direct our path. In their objectives, the Women’s March organizers cite all the groups “immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault”, that “the last election cycle has insulted”. But the organizers use the diversities in our country to further their platform, and they are not very different than the “rhetoric of the past election cycle”. I am not sure whose voice is “Hear Our Voice”.

  12. uofhuofh It does matter what color people are! Only privileged people who have never been discriminated against for their skin color can say something so blind. Everyone here should see the Netflix Film Thirteen, if you really want to understand American Culture. The Women’s March is organized by Clinton supporters, the same campaign who called Bernie Sanders sexist when he wasn’t. The same campaign that said women would go to hell if they didn’t support a powerful, white, deeply unpopular woman who didn’t know how to run a campaign. It’s amazing she got 3 million votes; too bad she ignored the upper Midwest, and just took California. And I don’t see a lot of white Clinton supporters thanking black women for bringing her most of their votes. Half of white women stabbed the rest of American women in the back by voting for their pathological pussy-grabber. Feminism isn’t comfortable. Feminism isn’t about keeping privilege. Feminism is about women’s lives, families, experience and work lives. Black and Latino women don’t need white women, we need them. They are our strongest, most tested leaders. If you’re white, allow all people to feel safe around you. Just listen. Let those among us who most are most affected by racism, patriarchy and sexism, lead.

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  14. I’m very glad you have posted all the commentary that you’ve posted. I was planning to attend Chicago’s march, but have been thinking this morning about whether I’d be better serving the greater good by prepping lesson plans on WOC contributions, historical and contemporary. Thank you!

  15. Thank you for saying all this Candice. I am a white woman planning on attending the march in DC – I felt so compelled to go that I’m flying out from LA to do so. However, I have also had a close friend of mine, who is a woman of color, express her feelings of the march not being truly inclusive and told me that she cannot support it even though she supports me individually in going. It’s been difficult to discuss the topic in any depth as we both seem to be very nervous about offending the other. So I came across your article in seeking out more voices to help me understand a POV different than my own. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your experience given the backlash you’ve already received for doing so. I am learning that being willing to make others uncomfortable (while still being respectful) and being willing to experience uncomfort ourselves (particularly for those with privilege) is a very important part of the work we must do to build a more inclusive and just world.

  16. Is there anything in particular that white women can do while at the marches to show our support for WOC? I am planning to go to a march, but I hear your (and others’) concerns and do not want to propagate a system which shuts out or attempts to talk over women of color. In your opinion, is the best way to not attend the march at all, or is there something I can do at the march to be a good ally?

  17. uofhuofh: “What difference does it make if they call it Women’s March, Million Women’s March, or We’re Mad as Hell march?”
    Answer: She told you in the beginning of the piece. Your response implies you didn’t hear her, or her concerns aren’t valid, without engaging with her concerns in either inner thought or outward expression. This is exactly the kind of erasure this piece is about. Unity without intersectionality is imaginary.

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  19. I think that this says it all: “First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”–Martin Luther King, Jr

  20. Reblogged this on Four Wheel Workout and commented:
    The first red flag was: Million Women March. I was 13 years old when the ORIGINAL MWM took place and couldn’t get enough of it. The 2nd red flat was: Women’s March on Washing…cause you know, Dr. King.

    As a Black, Disabled, Woman I cannot and will not support this March. I am not being “divisive”. I am being realistic. Feminism by default is white. The Suffragettes marched for the votes and when they won the right, black women still didn’t have the right. I want equal pay but as a Black woman, I am still less likely to be paid the same as white women, or even be hired.

    As a WOC, this march doesn’t speak to me. Even the organizers said this isn’t an “anti-Trump” march (the original idea) because white women voted for him. But, POC need this to be anti-Trump because POC suffer the most at the hands of people like him.

    When you’re done marching for inclusiveness (wow, so specific) will you then march for the needs and rights of the tan, brown and black community?

  21. As a feminist identified Latinx was excited about this Womens March when I first learned about it. One of my dear friends in California (who is a white woman) forwarded the invite to the page. I am in Washington. Early on I noted the lack of diversity in the leadership. I respectfully thanked my friend for the invite and choose to join a local group that is diverse, inclusive and led by indigenous women.
    There is not division in our supporting the movement in parallel. There is power for women of color in speaking up within our own community. We have always done so as a matter of survival because we do not have the luxury of Privilage to pick and choose when we will stand up.
    So I will March with my indigenous sisters from my community in solidarity with the other women who participate on that day in the other Washington knowing that when the hype of the moment is over, I will continue to fight for equity and justice in my own community with strong women of color.

  22. As the wonderful Reed Waller, creator of Omaha the Cat Dancer, once wrote for one of his characters: ‘it ain’t a revolution, unless you can question it.’

  23. I understand your,concern. I was drawn into the article and about 2/3 thru I said enough. Point well made, but this is Facebook, not the New York Times.

  24. Hillary lost, in part, because she never really had a solid, central message and she seemed inauthentic. Her campaign seemed exclusive and arrogant and this march seems plagued by the same problems. It is, no doubt, run by many of the same women, with the same mindset which led to her epic fail of a presidential run.

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  26. i was excited about this march–until I read your article and a few others of similar opinion from women of color. your line about “inclusiveness as an afterthought” was poignant. i appreciate you speaking out and sharing your experience. as a person who wants to be educated and informed about the political factions i join, it was great to have received your insight. i will not be supporting the march.

    thank you again,
    a proud white woman who really does want inclusiveness

  27. By voicing deep concerns I have about the privileged exclusivity of the liberal club of which I am a member – white, female, well-educated, never wanted for much in this world – I think the writer just convinced me not to march. Don’t see that this march has a congruent purpose. True we won’t get anywhere if we don’t unite; also true we won’t get anywhere if the elites continue to run the show. Common cause means we listen to others until we understand how they see the world, and then we respect their deepest concerns and find a way to weave something new together. It’s a quality of being together; not hearing it in the organization of this march.

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  29. Wow, As a male I intend on joining the march… I think the idea is to protest the Trump elect’s racism and xenophobia( among other things)…. I have to respectfully disagree with the author and her choice to resign and encourage others not to march… AND THE suggestion others boycott the march feels counter productive and a bit irresponsible….

    • The author does not discourage others from marching. This is her personal experience in regards to the organization. Please see fourth paragraph from the end: “I will not be going to Washington. I cannot in good conscience attend a march led by white women who actively silence their opposition and use women of color as tokens when it’s convenient for them. However, I DO believe in everyone’s right to march, so I am not discouraging others from going. And that is not contradictory or confusing. I can choose to personally not agree with something and still encourage others to exercise their own rights.”

    • Mark,
      What if, after a couple of days, you reread this…. ? What if you told yourself, while rereading this, I’m only going to assume this person wants the same things I want, an open dialog about “racism and xenophobia” as a way to combat it. What if we as white people or people of the priveleged sex say…okay I’m not going to use the word divisive anymore….because what that word really means is shhhh, you’re threatening my bubble….? I don’t believe dissent is divisive… unless we allow it to be. I’m going to assume that since you want to attend the March that you and I are on the same side….because I’m also attending. But I absolutely feel like I’m on the same side as Candice (the author). Soooo….we ARE all on the same side…we’re just making our side bigger….

    • Agree with Mark. I am also suspect of long diatribes with obvious agendas and no facts, but the author’s opinion.

      Please note I’m not saying it’s untrue, but it seems the purpose it’s to sour people and not to resolve tensions. The tone is accusatory throughout and if I read between the lines I see much fault on the part of the author as well.

      This seems much more like a personal issue between people than one that should have been resolved privately instead of writing a piece intended to cause divisiveness with the people accused having no voice.

      I will still be attending the March. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but guessing there is a lot more to this story than was written.

      • This is an opinion article and was published as such. The author does not discourage anyone from attending the march, encourages others to exercise their rights, and presents her experience as she had it. -EIC

      • I agree with Beth and Mark. It doesn’t matter what color you are, you are welcome – and that has been made very clear by the march organizers from the beginning. What difference does it make if they call it Women’s March, Million Women’s March, or We’re Mad as Hell march? I will be there to march in support social justice. I want blacks, Muslims, immigrants, Latinx, women, men, children, disabled, and vets to be with us. I appreciate your efforts to get people to use their voices. What it feels like is (with this article and others) the same message Trump and his worshipers send out, “you’re not like us.” We need unity, not division. I agree that I will never fully comprehend what it is like to be a person of color in the US. Blacks and Hispanics suffer at the hands of white supremacists, people who don’t care, and people too stupid to see the difference. I will march in your place. I will fight discrimination and mass incarceration of people of color. I will stand up and I will show up, because that is what MUST happen for change to occur. I pray that you will update this article with news that you are going. I want to meet you, I want to hear your story, I want know and understand. If you don’t show up, that won’t happen. I pray that you will take my words in the spirit they were intended. If they seem disrespectful, I apologize because I want to show you what I’m thinking, words of understanding and not anger. I edited my comments and I hope that what I wrote will help you understand what is in my head and in my heart. I’m angry at the injustice and I’m not going to ever sit down while there is a fight to be had. If ever there were was a time to fight, it is now. Right now.

      • Beth, Candice provides verifiable quotes, verifiable comment, a verifiable timeline of events that you could investigate. You choose to ignore that and write, “guessing there is a lot more to this story than was written.” Where are your facts to support that aspersion. As Candice wrote, “However, I DO believe in everyone’s right to march, so I am not discouraging others from going. And that is not contradictory or confusing. I can choose to personally not agree with something and still encourage others to exercise their own rights.”
        Perhaps you should step back and examine why you feel the need to cast aspersions and question the validity of an account of a woman of color who invested a large amount of time and effort into this march only to feel that her concerns (including the very concrete concern of liability), instead of simply marching, as the march organizers say, in support of all women.

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