The Women’s March on Saturday, as we all saw, was a stunning success. All over the world, but particularly here in the United States, millions of women and men gathered to express their resistance not only to “alternative facts,” but to the alternate universe known as Trumpism—where misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of deplorable bigotry are the norm.
Of all the amazing video and photographic coverage of the event, my second favorite report came from Anchorage, Alaska. Despite locally heavy snowfall—between 8 and 12 inches—hazardous road conditions, and temperatures in the low teens, we saw this:
As amazing as those protests in frigid Anchorage were—Hillary Clinton got less than 38% of the vote in Alaska—an even more amazing event and my personal favorite happened in Austin, Texas. Here’s a photograph (provided by Kate Calkins):
Now you might say, “What’s so amazing about an anti-Trumpism protest in liberal Austin, Texas, even one that large?” I’ll tell you what is so amazing. Look at the photograph below (taken by Todd Phillips):
The person holding that sign is Tammy Brinkman. She lives in Anna, Texas—population about 13,000—which is 240 miles away from Austin. She is not what you would call a life-long feminist activist. She is from a tiny Kansas town. She is happily married, the mother of three grown children, and working full-time. But she got on a crowded bus on Saturday and traveled the almost four hours to Austin because she, like so many of us, was appalled and angry about what happened on November 8. And rather than sit around and complain, sit around and mope, sit around and tune out the deplorable sights we have seen before and since the election of Tr-mp, she decided to become part of the solution to a very disturbing problem.
I suspect that hundreds of thousands of the protesters on Saturday were, like Tammy, new to this kind of thing. They had not previously been part of any kind of organized political or social movement. And that is what is so heartening about what happened the day after Tr-mp was inaugurated. Something profound is going on in the massive, historic resistance against the new man now occupying the White’s House.
I want to share with you what Tammy Brinkman wrote about her experience on Saturday, which I believe demonstrates that the movement against Trumpism is more than a one-off, ventilating event and that Republicans ignore it at their peril:
I am on my way home from one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever been blessed to participate in. The love and unity that I felt today with the sweetest people was incredible. I can’t put into words the feeling that was in the air today in Austin at the Women’s March. The diversity of the crowd was amazing. And that is definitely something u don’t see much of on the other side. I want to thank my nephew Todd for meeting me and marching with me! We made a great memory together and I was proud to march with u ! ❤Thousands and thousands of people being kind and so considerate. Total strangers coming up and clapping, cheering and hugging. I hope my kids will be proud of what i did today. After all I’m doing this for them and my future grandchildren. I want to be able to say to them that I was on the right side when this is in the history books. I stood for women’s rights. I stood against racism and bigotry and hate. It’s not only the right thing to do but it’s a moral obligation to do so. For those of u who think we are a bunch of whiners and cry babies you are soooooo wrong. We are a movement now and our voices will continue to roar throughout the world! We will not tolerate racism and bigotry nor a fascist America. WE ARE THE RESISTANCE!!!!
I want to remind you those are not the words of an experienced activist. I want to remind you those aren’t the words of someone who has been a life-long political junkie or a radical feminist. Those are the words of a concerned citizen. Those are the words of a worried mom and prospective grandmother. Those are the words of someone who has empowered herself to fight Trumpism.
And those are the words of my little sister, Tammy Graham Brinkman. And I couldn’t be more proud of her. I only wish my mom, a Hubert Humphrey Democrat, could have been here to see her baby daughter become part of such an important moment in American history. Vive la résistance!