Today I will march in Denver, Colorado because I believe in the foundational principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Everyday I walk by a framed poster that I purchased in Memphis at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. It says: The struggle for freedom, equality, and justice transcends race, religion, political affiliation, and even death. This sentence reminds me that thousands of people before me, including my hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, fought to ensure that the freedoms I often take for granted were extended to women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.
In the days after the election, I vowed that I will stand up and defend those who live in fear because of the 45th President’s hateful, authoritarian rhetoric. Because God has shown me what is good, I promise to do what He requires of me: to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8). I pledge to be a Matthew 25 Christian. I promise to help the vulnerable (“the least of these” in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats). That includes immigrants, Muslims, and people of color who still face discrimination. Turning my back on their suffering during these troubled times would be refusing to help my Lord and Savior.
During times of struggle, I often turn to the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
But I like the way Angela Davis put it even better: I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept.
- I cannot accept racism
- I cannot accept sexism
- I cannot accept xenophobia
- I cannot accept homophobia
- I cannot accept misogyny
- I cannot accept threats to freedom of speech, including the free press
- I cannot accept threats to religious freedom
- I cannot accept threats to our democracy
I believe in truth. I believe in justice and mercy. I believe in basic human decency. This is why I am marching today with thousands of other women and men across this country.