March for Life 2017

This year it is a week later than usual as this year it fell on a Sunday and after the Inauguration and Women’s March and they have typically held the March on the Friday before the January 22. This year there will be some discussion with the new President and what his actions will be. At the event they have already confirmed that Kellyanne Conway will attend along with VP Mike Pence, Pence will be the highest ranking political member to attend this event. This leads me to believe that Trump might call in as previous Republican Presidents have done in the past or something like that as well, short of attending. Since in his interview with David Muir from ABC News, Trump when asked about the Women’s March came back with a question of his own for Muir about the lack of coverage of the March for Life in the media. Muir was speechless. Will this bring more media eyes on the March for Life is the real question, or will it get like a mention of a counter protester. However, this concern for the March for Life seems to go counter to Donald’s attitude to the rest of the world as building a wall, keeping people our of the country, and his plans for women’s health care. This is what the March last Saturday was all about that everyone need to have the same respect and rights women, men, LGBT+, straight, young and old, whatever and wherever you come from.

Women’s March

One of the images from this past Saturday’s Women’s March across the nation and around the world that caught my eye was a group of ladies dressed like suffragettes with a sign reading “Same Shit Different Century”, sure a lot has changed in the world but women’s rights are still dragging behind those of men in the United States. Who would have thought that a century after Alice Paul and the other participants of the Woman suffrage parade of 1913 in Washington DC, that we wouldn’t have really gotten that far from what they were fighting for sure Women can vote and even be elected to public office but they haven’t gotten much since. Women are still earning less than a man for the same amount of work and any semblance of the Equal Right Act still hasn’t been passed and approved by the states. However, this seems unlikely to be passed right now with the Republican held Congress, and perhaps the ERA needs to be revived to include all those LGBTQ as well. Let us all work towards bringing this to a reality as we need to become more active citizens by participating in local elections and learning what candidates stand for rather than how much noise they can make.

This march brought up the musical Ragtime set in the early part of the 20th century and tells the stories of three groups of people the Upper-class Whites in New Rochelle, the African Americans in Harlem, and the Eastern European Immigrants.  It is a period piece for today, as all these groups still exist today in different forms The musical touches on race, disparities of class, police violence, immigration, equality and justice for women and minorities.  If you have some time take a listen to the musical or I’m sure you can find some high school production on Youtube. The stand out songs are the from two different points in the show one at the end of Act One “Till We Reach That Day” and the other just before the end of Act Two “Make Them Hear You”. In the Act One Finale we have an unjust murder by the police, which still is relevant today. The song before the Act Two finale “Make Them Hear You” is an anthem for Justice through non-violence.  We hear that “Your sword can be a sermon, or the power of the pen. Teach every child to raise his voice and then, my brothers, then will justice be demanded by ten million righteous men make them hear you.” This is our vehicle for change in the world, and hopefully tomorrow there will be more of us working for the cause where someday gender and race won’t matter when it comes to politics and life in general.

News Roundup

New National Monument: This is pretty unique as President Obama has announced that women’s equality get a monument as well. Obama announced that the Sewall-Belmont house in DC will be designated  the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. The building was the headquarters of the National Women’s Party which fought for women’s suffrage and tried mightily to pass the Equal Right Amendment, an amendment to the constitution that granted women equal rights, it was introduced in 1923 and sort of died in 79. However, the Virginia Senate continues to vote on it most recently in January, it seems like the time has come for the amendment to be added to the Constitution.

Comic book Movies: In news that really isn’t news it has been officially confirmed by Warner Brothers that Matt Damon is directing a stand alone Batman movie in the DC Movie Universe. In the Marvel Universe there is a new trailer it only a teaser for the latest film Doctor Strange.

Space: This is a cool story as it involves interstellar travel. Stephen Hawking along with Yuri Milner and the help of Mark Zuckerberg want to send a bunch of computer chip sized satellites with solar sails which would get a push by a giant laser and then use the sun as a means of propulsion. They would travel at about 20% the speed of light. Hawking believes that interstellar travel must be something that we can reach within a human lifetime. The nearest star system is 25 trillion miles or about 4 light years away and the farthest object (Voyager 1) sent from earth has only gone about 135 AU from the Earth.

Selma marches

This past weekend we remembered the “Bloody Sunday” from the march from Selma to Montgomery took place 50 years ago on March 7th. The march was for voting rights for African Americans as in the South there was a general sense that they didn’t deserve the right to vote since they (the blacks) were inferior. One of the causes of the march was the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama state trooper. This was the big moment which James Bevel, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)’s Selma voting right movement, decided that a march should take place where they would go to the Capital of Alabama and talk with the governor about the murder of Jackson. This would be a non violent outlet for the anger that people had with the murder.  The Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had some reservation about the event but allowed John Lewis even though Martin Luther King Jr was not going to be at the march.

The march got off to a great start lead by John Lewis (SNCC) and Reverend Hosea Williams (SCLC) however as soon as they left Selma crossing over the Edmund Pettus Bridge the peaceful marchers were met by state troopers and a country posse as all white males over 21 in Dallas Country were deputized that morning. The troopers began shoving and they pulled out nightstick and beat people, tear gas was used as well. It was a horrific moment in our Nation’s history and images were televised across the world that show the aftermath and images of Amelia Boynton and other left for dead on the bridge graced front pages of newspapers world wide as well.

The film Selma is about the events leading up to the march and the aftermath. There is also a graphic novel called March which features this event as well from the point of view of John Lewis. If you have time tonight Lewis will be the guest on The Daily Show to talk about the anniversary of Selma.

Has history been kind to us it seems to many that we may be exactly where we were in 1965 on the whole race relations thing. Sure there is a black man in the White House but over the past several months there has been it seems an increase of police officers shooting unarmed black youths. We’ve had some problems recently but it’s a whole lot better now then it was 50 years ago. President Obama was in Selma to mark the occasion and he gave a speech where he said that progress has been made but there is still a lot of work to do, as this struggle for harmony is ongoing and now the women, Latinos, and homosexuals have picked up this fight for equality themselves.