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Powerful Women For Change
1/25/2017 3:19:48 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Saturday will go down in history as women converged on the nation’s capital seeking respect and inclusion in the new administration.

One day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the women could hardly wait for the inauguration bunch to leave town before expressing their dissatisfaction with the new administration.

With so much helter-skelter going on with the new administration, it was refreshing to see the ladies unite not only in Washington and the nation but globally in an unprecedented protest.

The newly elected President showed disrespect for women during the Presidential campaign and the women responded in record numbers at Saturday’s rally.

Actress America Ferrera couldn’t have expressed my views any better when she said, “It’s been a heartrending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday.

“But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay.”

There is just something about the power of women. As a woman, I have been a part of the women’s movement. Women have slowly made their way up the ladder through some of the most difficult times and difficult situations. They have demonstrated that they can do more than chew gum and walk at the same time.

The same hands that gently rocked babies also delivered babies. Women flew aircrafts and served as advisers to presidents. Women have done it all! And, if President Trump didn’t know it before, he has to know now just how powerful women really are. They certainly upstaged his inauguration attendance and he is still whining about that.

When asked what I thought about the Women’s March on Washington, my response was “the women sent a strong message to this nation, to the Republican-controlled Congress and hopefully to the newly elected president.” It would be in the President’s best interest to listen for a change, button up his lip and stop flipping the script. Everything regarding his gaffes does not have to be challenged or called a “lie”.”

Omarosa is black and female but she does not represent the average American working class woman. Trump would be best advised to listen to the likes of former Texas Representative, Barbara Jordan (1936-1996). Rep. Jordan left behind a blueprint for those seeking liberty and justice to follow.

Rep. Jordan, a Black woman from Houston, Texas was on point when she declared in 1992 that “The American Dream is slipping away from those persons who have jobs -- jobs which no longer will pay the benefits which will enable them to live and thrive because America seems to be better at building war equipment to sit in warehouses and rot than in building decent housing. It is slipping away. It is slipping away.”

Rep. Barbara Jordan delivered one of the most prolific speeches of my time as keynote speaker of the Democratic National Convention (1976). “We are one, we Americans. We are one. And we reject any intruder who seeks to divide us on the basis of race and color.

“We honor -- We honor cultural identity. We always have. We always will. But, but separatism is not allowed. Separatism is not the American way. We must not allow ideas like political correctness to divide us and cause us to reverse hard-won achievements in human rights and civil rights....”

Finally, Rep. Jordan said “Now we must look to the future. Let us heed the voice of the people and recognize their common sense. If we do not, we not only blaspheme our political heritage, we ignore the common ties that bind all Americans. Many fear the future.

Many are distrustful of their leaders, and believe that their voices are never heard. Many seek only to satisfy their private work -- wants; to satisfy their private interests. But this is the great danger America faces -- that we will cease to be one nation and become instead a collection of interest groups: city against suburb, region against region, individual against individual; each seeking to satisfy private wants.

If that happens, who then will speak for America? Who then will speak for the common good?

So, I leave with you today Charlestonians, who will speak for the common good of America? If no one else will, women will.

Will President Trump speak for the common good of women? Will he speak for the common good of Hispanics? Will he speak for the common good of this nation?

How can he when he has not even exhibited “common sense”?

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