An historical weekend in the US of A. I don’t have a TV so didn’t see any of it, but I kept informed listening to NPR. I listened all morning and, yes, even to the inaugural address. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/20/politics/trump-inaugural-address/index.html [Of course, this is CNN so, they might be lying.] I did see some FB posts of photos comparing the attendance of this year’s inauguration (right) to that of 2009 (left).
No surprise there. After all, 45 comes in with historically low ratings. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/12/donald-trumps-approval-rating-lowest-president-elect-two-decades/
I continue to try to hold to a wait-and-see approach to the new administration. I didn’t think his inaugural address was as bad as I expected (though I had expected it to be pretty bad). I thought that was a good sign. Sure there were some things to arouse concern… but we have to give him a chance, right?
Which is part of the complaint about the Women’s March on Washington (WMW)… It was premature, disrespectful even. Apparently this was a minority opinion as some of the largest turnouts in some time were seen. In fact, the turnout today was considerably larger than the inaugural turnout just a day before (and some of those people were Hillary fans who just couldn’t stand to not use their tickets). Here are a couple shots from Vox http://www.vox.com/identities/2017/1/21/14336068/photos-womens-march-vs-trump-inauguration Here’s the Inauguration at 12:09 (about the moment of swearing in):
And here’s the same area about an hour before the Women’s March began:
And there were literally hundreds of related marches around the world. Whether you heard about this may well depend on which channel you watch for news. Apparently, Fox Noise didn’t seem to think this was a very newsworthy… http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/jan/21/how-fox-msnbc-and-cnn-are-covering-womens-march/
What was the point of the WMW?
The point was to voice support for the protection of rights, safety, health, and families for all women and to send a message to the new administration, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights. https://www.womensmarch.com/mission/
But even among the Women, there was discord. Imagine that, eh? NPR did a really good piece on All Things Considered about the racial tension. http://www.npr.org/2017/01/21/510986874/intersectional-feminism-representation-in-saturdays-womens-marches White feminists need to listen to the voices of color to truly address the issues that women face. These women of color are still struggling with some of the things on which white women have seen some relief. But until we ALL have equality, our work is not done. [Golden nugget: I learned a new term, a bit of Chicano slang… Chingona, which basically means badass. Someone who is smart and gets things done.]
As I saw images from friends and heard some of the early reports, I worried that many of the Marchers were more about putting down Donald Trump and less about standing for women’s issues. I have two thoughts on this.
- Why give him ANY attention at all? Why give any of our energy to being negative towards him? Isn’t that what we complained about for the last eight years while Republicans protested against Obama? We need to ignore Trump as much as possible because he thrives on attention. And he’s really not going to listen anyway, so it seems like a waste of time and energy, regardless of the laughs it might generate. I do see that a little humor makes for stress relief but I want us to be bigger people.
- Our strength comes when we stand FOR something, not when we fight AGAINST something. I have a concern that there is so much outrage and fear that we will not think clearly, will not be united in standing FOR the things we believe are important and instead, will waste time and energy on the fight. Violence is not the answer. Ever.
Clear, consistent focus on speaking up for our beliefs is where we will have power.
Keeping in the attitude of “wait-and-see”, my initial reaction, when I saw later in the day what seemed too ridiculous to be true [http://usuncut.com/news/trump-national-parks-service-stop-tweeting-after-retweeting-inauguration-crowd-photos/] was, “This has to be fake news.” The story was that the National Park Service (NPS) was told Friday evening by their “Washington Support Office” to “stand down” on all tweeting “until further notice”. Department wide. Like, No Tweeting from any of the Parks. Why? Well, apparently the NPS twitter account was used to re-tweet two things: 1) the above photos on the inaugurations and 2) an notice of the scrubbing of the WhiteHouse.gov site.
So why is this a big deal? Why might this be a bit over-the-top as a response? Well, let’s just read part of the memo from DC:
“parks that use Twitter as part of their crisis communications plans need to alter their contingency plans to accommodate this requirement. Please ensure all scheduled posts are deleted and automated cross-platform social media connections to your twitter accounts are severed. The expectation is that there will be absolutely no posts to Twitter.” ~ https://gizmodo.com/national-park-service-banned-from-tweeting-after-anti-t-1791449526
Again, FB is my news source… but it’s verified! http://www.snopes.com/nps-twitter-account-shut-down/ Apparently, accounts have been restored already and it doesn’t appear that there were any resulting crises that had to be dealt with in the interim.
With the glory of social media, as with all over-the-top responses, the effect was likely the opposite of expectation. I’m thinking they wanted to shut down whoever was communicating “bad things” about Trump. You know, quell the uprising. But it’s now in the interwebs for everz. And, my curiosity about the scrubbing of www.whitehouse.gov, led me to head right there to check it out!
If you go to www.whitehouse.gov, here’s what you get…
And then once you enter the website, indeed, you see nothing about civil rights, climate change or health care. What you do see is the new Trumpland White House website. They present a brief page on each of the top issues with pretty much no detail on specifics. Half of them feature the words “For too long” to explain why things have been way screwed up forever. What are the Top Issues? And what are they gonna do about each? We’ll go into that next week. [Meanwhile, go ahead, you know you want to check it out.]
For now, I may have to re-visit this idea for a wait-and-see approach. It’s getting pretty scary pretty fast. At this point, I’m wondering if the Women’s Marches may actually have been about six months too late.