How Protesting The 'Muslim Ban' Gave Me Hope In These DARK Times

immigration ban march
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We CAN make change.

I was propped up in bed halfway through my first cup of coffee reading my emails when I got a text. 

"We're rallying in Battery Park against the Immigration Ban," said a friend. 

It was Sunday.

I was feeling lazy and also a bit depressed. 

The barrage of executive orders coming out of the Trump administration had left me feeling daunted. 

Worse still, as a white woman, I felt stupid for not knowing the best way to use this privilege that been laid on me from birth.

At first, reading the text, I didn't think I would go. 

I went to the Women's March in Washington, and while it was a powerful reminder of how not alone we are, I couldn't shake a feeling of hopelessness throughout. 

So many different people screaming about so many different wrongs, how any of them could be righted I didn't know. 

I saw Black women and Native American women marching. It was far from their first march.

I was inspired by them, and at the same time, I felt chagrined. 

Because I was a newcomer, and I was a newcomer because of my privilege. 

In short, I'm late to this party, and I want to help, not to be part of the mass of white people who think they're helping when in fact all their doing is making themselves feel a little less guilty. 

At least I wasn't wearing one of those fucking pink hats. 

(Sorry not sorry)

The march on Sunday in Battery Park was a continuation of the protests on Saturday that took place at JFK airport when citizens, permanent residents, and refugees whose countries were named by Trump's executive action were detained illegally. 

I decided to go to the march and rally on Sunday when I learned that the massive event at JFK had made real change.

Some of those detained were released, a Federal judge in Brooklyn struck out against Trump's order, public officials throughout the country were speaking out against the ban, and companies like Lyft raised more than one million dollars to support the ACLU whose good work can't be ignored.

If demonstrations like these can really make change I thought, then I want to be a part of it.

And I want to bring a bad-ass sign. 

The rally was packed, and I've got anxiety, but I wasn't overwhelmed. 

Instead, I was overwhelmed with the vibrations of the crowd.

I know, I said vibrations, how "new age" and silly, but that's how it felt. 

The entire park and the streets around it vibrated with people who were unwilling to let the constitution be ignored, and the basic concepts upon which our country was founded be destroyed. 

I saw more change in action that day, too. 

While the rally was taking places, organizers shared that 16 State Attorney Generals had given the rally organizers an official statement of dissent against Trump and Bannon's order. 

Hope fluttered in my chest like a weak-ass bird. 

It was such a foreign sensation that at first, I thought I was having a panic attack.

But it wasn't that.

My body was starting to believe again that we can stop bad men from doing bad things. 

I know that we have a long road to walk, and I don't think it will be remotely easy.

I don't think we've seen the last of the great injustices that this administration will dole out, but I no longer feel lost, stupid, vapid, and helpless. 

I feel ready to make change, to support as an ally, to march when I must, to organize when I can, and to never ever stop hoping. 

So thank you to everyone who is protesting and holding rallies. 

You are the hope this nation needs. 

 

 

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