The day after President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, millions of people marched around the world to show their support for equal rights and to protest the rhetoric Trump used throughout his entire presidential campaign against minority groups. Women, along with men, marched through the streets of Washington, D.C., wearing "pussy hats" and bearing signs proclaiming their support for women's rights to reproductive health care and equal pay for equal work.
The march wasn't just about women's rights, either. People who identified as straight, gay, transgender or gender non-conforming marched in support of the LGBT community and its rights. There were thousands of people, African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic and Latino people alike, who showed up to demonstrate that equal rights is for everyone and on everyone's minds, despite personal background or social status.
The march was inspiring for those who attended and those who weren't able to. There were also people who opposed the march and weren't sure why the Women's March was garnering so much attention from news outlets. Many people claimed they were "confused" by the march, asking those who did protest what they were marching about.
The beauty of expression in America is that we have the right to make our voices heard. You're allowed to participate in a women's march, and you're allowed to oppose it, as well. However, we need to ensure that this opportunity for political expression is preserved for years to come and that it is an opportunity granted to all.
At the minimum, the march was simply people, specifically women, demonstrating their claim to fundamental rights, an argument that is hard to counter.
However, this can't be the end. We can't let the conversation die down. This march is an example of the power that people truly hold and the potential that we have to make a difference. One voice can cause a stir, but sometimes it takes numbers of people coming together to spread a message about an issue. That's why the Women's March on Washington was so powerful — it made people listen.
Unfortunately, this freedom to expression is becoming increasingly precarious under the Trump administration, especially with his recent attempt to silence the dissemination of information from the scientific community and his clear disdain for the media. Not to mention the various times media outlets were called "fake news" in an attempt to disagree with content, criticism published.
Now is not the time for us, the press, to stop providing you with news that matters. Now is not the time for you, the public, to acquiesce to demands to silence your opinions. Now is not the time for any of us to succumb to fear tactics and extinguish our beliefs. It's time to collaborate and make sure our voices are heard.
So, keep marching. And we'll keep reporting on it.