Why I Won’t Be Watching The Match On Saturday

18 Jan

soccer-ball-with-flags

My favorite thing to do on any given weekend is to curl up and watch a soccer game. But I won’t be doing that this Saturday.

Instead, I’ll be taking part in the Women’s March here in NYC along with Shigs and some other watishistas. I wanted to go to DC for the main march but for a variety of reasons, I’m unable to do that. But I do think that it’s important to show a presence in other cities as well. As of today, there are 616 sister marches (and counting!) taking place all over the world. It. Is. Amazing. To know that so many people stand united makes me feel like there’s some hope after all. What is happening here in the US is going to have an affect all over the world. I’m so glad that people are realizing that and choosing to send a message.

So why is this necessary? Well, we got a wake up call – a scary one –  in the US on November 9th and if one good thing came out of that fuckery, it’s that many people were finally jolted out of their complacency and realized that that they have to get off their arses and fight if they want to maintain their rights. There have been people battling on the front lines of these issues all along, but the dash of cold water with the election of a dangerous inexperienced thin-skinned man child  jolted casual observers into action. It went from “Well, that’s someone’s else’s problem.” to “Holy shit, it’s my problem too.” Welcome to the resistance, glad you could join us and better late than never.

One of the things that I love about soccer is it’s inclusiveness. You can pretty much go anywhere in the world and find people playing some form of the sport. Young, old, male, female, disabled, poor, rich, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation – people play, watch and love the game.  (Speaking of, you should totally check out the documentary Pelada and this interview with the makers)

And that is the sort of world I want to live in – one where everyone shares a commonality and love. Where people respect each other and allow for diversity because to be different is not a threat, but something to be celebrated because it enriches our worldview and experiences.

But right now, quite frankly, I’m fucking scared. All the things that I love about this country and the world feel very tenuous and that they could fall away at any moment. I watched, horrified, during the election cycle at the nastiness and hatred that people showed for those that were different from them. And on November 9th, those views seemed to be legitimized.  It’s like open season for racists and it is terrifying.  I live in NYC, a city that blessedly teems with diversity, but we’re seeing a huge jump in hate crimes.  Sobering, to say the least.

So why do I march?

I march because I think that on January 20th we are making a grave mistake – a shameful one – that I think will sadly come to define my country in the eyes of the world for a very long time. I want people to know, by my presence at the march, that I don’t share the hateful rhetoric, willful ignorance and casual disregard for the lives of my fellow citizens that seems to be the hallmark of this incoming administration.

I march because if I talk the talk, I’d damn well better get off my arse and walk the walk.

I march because I am disturbed with the systematic racism in my country and as a white woman and therefore privileged, I know that white silence equals white consent. Black Lives Matter. Period. End of discussion.

I march because of  the people that live in my predominantly Muslim  neighborhood who have treated me with nothing but kindness and generosity since I moved to the area. I worry for their safety every single day and search for ways that I can be an ally. Freedom of religion is  one of the cornerstones my country was founded on. We would do well to remember that. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Pagans, other religions and non-believers alike have the right to co-exist peacefully. One belief system is not better than the other. Just different. And honestly, most people believe in the Golden Rule or some form of it: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  It’s not that hard, it’s really not. We need to do better and learn some tolerance.

I march because the LGBTQIA community – my friends and my people  – should have the right to live as their authentic selves and be with who they love. Love is love is love is love. And lord knows we need more of that.

I march because I am a second generation American and I realize that this country was built on immigration. Immigrants are not the enemy. Neither are refugees. As Elie Wiesel said “No human being is illegal.”

I march because no one should touch you without your explicit consent. Rape culture needs to be challenged and changed, not perpetuated.

I march because it’s my body and my choice.

I march because I stand with Planned Parenthood and the excellent care that they provide to both women and men in a variety of ways. If you don’t know all that they offer, here you go.  They rock and are so, so necessary.

I march because climate change is real. Science does not lie, which is more than I can say for some of our elected officials.

I march because we need to change the cycle of poverty. People need opportunities and education. Everyone deserves a chance.

I march because  1 in 6 people in the US face hunger, over 17.5 million households (containing 13.1 million children) are considered “food insecure” and 49 million people in my country struggle to put food on the table.

I march because I believe that my country needs a living wage and that you should be paid the same regardless of your gender.

I march because I believe that it’s long past time to have sensible gun control laws. Gun homicides in the US are as common as deaths from car crashes. Read some sobering stats and comparisons to other countries here.  Not to mention, it is the 18th day of the new year and we’ve already had 13 mass shootings (classified as 4 or more people shot).  Something has to change.

I march because I wish to honor the strong women who came before me who fought so hard for my rights. It’s the least I can do.  Women’s rights are human rights.

I march because people shouldn’t die because they can’t afford health care or have a pre-existing condition. And drug companies need to be taken to task for their highway robbery.

I march because there are over 1 billion people in the world with a disability. They face discrimination and are under-served in many places. In my own country, they also face a lack of respect as seen by the cruel and disgraceful mockery of the person who will soon be leading our country.

I march because people need to understand that they needn’t be frightened of something or someone different than themselves and see it as an opportunity to learn. I wish everyone had the opportunity to travel. It’s an eye opener.

I march because I am a student of history and there are things that should never, ever be repeated.

I march because I want the people who don’t share my political and social views to know that even if we don’t agree, I believe that they deserve to live their lives with dignity and equal protection under the law just like our constitution says.

I march because I want to send a message to  our elected officials that none of these issues can be forgotten or swept under the rug. We will not allow them to be.

I march because I am damn lucky to live in a country where I can voice my opinion openly and legally. I need to do my part.

There are so many other reasons that I and others are marching – as many as there are people in this world, I would suspect.

If you can, and are so inclined, please join one of the marches this weekend. You can see what is offered in your area or country here. Your support is appreciated and sends a message that we’re not going to stand for being returned to the dark ages. We need to move forward, not back. And gentlemen, you can march too! Even though it is billed as the Women’s March, all are welcome.

If you can’t march, perhaps you could make a donation to a cause near to your heart, write to an elected official about it or make a post on social media. Or you could just send those of us marching some love and support – we will carry you with us in our hearts.

More than anything else, remember that kindness is everything.  We can achieve so much together by being compassionate to the others that we share this planet with. That’s a damn good start.

Love and peace,

Lozil

 

 

Advertisements

14 Responses to “Why I Won’t Be Watching The Match On Saturday”

  1. Forzasusan January 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm #

    Will be marching with you in spirit in DC.

  2. americanmadridista January 19, 2017 at 12:19 am #

    Thank you!!

    • headbandsandheartbreak January 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

      You’re welcome! From one American madridista to another, let’s work together to make America safe again.

  3. watishistacorrespondents January 19, 2017 at 4:44 am #

    I am marching with you in spirit! I may feel conflicted over my job, but I do not feel that conflict over my views of equality. I would march if I were there. I would march for everything you mentioned. I would march because I refuse to remain silent, as I’ve done for too long. I walked the walk to defend this country in foreign lands. It’s time I walked the walk to defend it in my own.

    • headbandsandheartbreak January 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

      I’ll shout some slogans in your honor. I know you would be right there with us if you could.

  4. shiggers January 19, 2017 at 7:01 am #

    Thanks for the call to arms, Lozil. I regret not being more active leading up to November 9th. I don’t ever want to make that mistake again.

  5. M January 19, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    *hugs* As a non American, who has lived in the US for years in the past, I’m cheering you on.

  6. hopechaser January 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    Everything you said and feel is so spot-on. Thank you for sharing! Although this is happening in a country other than my own, we are so tied together if you go down we are going to tumble too. So you can expect lots of Canadians lending their voices to the march. There’s about 1K of us in my tiny, rural Canadian city joining in on Saturday; I expect the number to swell once the gravity of the situation hits tomorrow. March loud and march proud everyone!

    • headbandsandheartbreak January 19, 2017 at 11:41 pm #

      I’m so excited that you are marching too! As one of our closest neighbors, you’re definitely going to get a lot of this drama but it’s going to have a global ripple effect as well and that is terrifying to me. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m marching for common decency because already so much of what is happening is lacking that. Ugh. I am terrified that this man is going to have the nuclear codes.

  7. Pilcas January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. You are so on target and you have explained it so clearly. I never supported Trump but now that I see the kind of people who he is nominating, I find myself truly appalled and yes, scared. So many lies, flip flops and deceit. Trying to silence opposers and tweeting lie after lie. Thanks again for coming forward with your position.

    • headbandsandheartbreak January 19, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

      So much for “draining the swamp” right? I’m not sure how appointing a lot of out of touch rich people is going to help the common man as he promised but then again, I don’t think that was ever his intention. And the tweeting! Good lord! I don’t have time to tweet that much, how the hell does he?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: