Our great nation was built on differing opinions and the art of protest. Things were no different this past week as many American’s joined in solidarity for both the Women’s March on Washington and the March for Life.
The Women’s March on Washington focused on women’s rights, equality, and parity at home, the workplace, and society at large among other issues. One major issue that the March supported was “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”
Members of the pro-life movement, which is the position of the March for Life, said they felt excluded from the Women’s March. According to women in the pro-life movement, they felt that as women they had a lot to add to the conversation at the Women’s March, but because of their beliefs they were dis-invited.
While I agree that there may be some overlap between the two groups and the two marches, when a group issues a statement or policy that is the antithesis to your cause, it is okay to disagree without being a part of that organization’s event. To me, that is the point of having a March for Life, to say “Here is our opinion which is distinct and independent from yours.”
Another event from Inauguration Day that has the world buzzing was the assault of Richard Spencer. Spencer is a white-nationalist who coined the term “alt-right.” For those who mistake his movement for anything except what it is, the Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as “a suit-and-tie version of the white supremacists of old, a kind of professional racist in khakis.” While giving an interview in D.C. during the inauguration, a hooded individual approached Spencer and punched him in the face.
This event has sparked conversation, but has left me torn. I abhor violence at any level, but the views that Spencer holds are violent in their existence.
I ask myself, how can I cheer when a Nazi gets punched by Indiana Jones, but not when a neo-Nazi gets the same treatment?
While the jury is still out for me on the question of anti-fascist violence, the event has solidified for me one opinion: Not all opinions are created equal.
If you prefer chocolate to vanilla, fine. If you love green and hate blue, that’s great. But if you think that other people are inferior based on race? That I will not accept.
If you are still unsure of your own opinion, I leave you with these two quotes, the first from Richard Spencer in October 2013, and the second from the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”