We’re officially back to the 1960’s, although the Saturday protests that occurred around the world against the Trump administration were far more peaceful than those that happened at the time of the Viet Nam war and the struggle for civil rights. This is not Lowndes County Alabama, where Stokely Carmichael called forth black power and launched the Black Panther Party. We’re not fighting for voting rights and integrated lunch counters for black America.
We are pushing back against the notion that a Republican Congress has a mandate to attempt to return the country to an idealized imaginary version of the 1950’s. Take heed, angry white voters who foisted this Trump travesty upon the country and the world.
If we’d all gone complacent, Trump’s election was a wake-up call. Clearly Democracy is not guaranteed, not when the country sent an incompetent autocrat to the Oval Office. Clearly civil rights are not guaranteed, not under a Justice Department run by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. Clearly basic human decency is not guaranteed, not when the new President stands in front of the wall honoring dead CIA agents and uses the opportunity to rant about the size of his crowds and how he is treated by the press. I mean, who does that? What kind of insecure ego has to shout “Me … me … me” all the time, even here at this sacred ground?
The demonstrations that occurred in so many cities, over 1M people mobilized, will not in and of themselves create change. But they send a message to Trump and his billionaire cronies — and more important to people around the world — that Trump is an aberration, and does not represent the values of American democracy.
What has to happen now is the hard, grinding work of organizing, to turn some of these hard red legislative districts back to the beliefs and practices that truly make America great: tolerance, diversity, concern for the poor and vulnerable, commitment to openness and freedom for all.
Saturday was just the beginning.