Altana’s Experience at the D.C. March

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Several students, teachers, and myself went to a march in Washington in D.C. to take part in the Ferguson protests. Although there were a lot of very large protests in New York City that day, we travelled so far because we wanted be part of the Friends presence in D.C., where there were people from all over the country. We marched towards the Capital Building where there were many speakers, including Reverend Al Sharpton and the families of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner. It was moving both to hear the speakers and to see the crowd react in times of humor and sadness and determination. It felt so amazing to be surrounded by so many people who were so dedicated to making a change in the world.

Participating in the march really made me consider the movement itself and especially my role in it. As a white person, it is a slightly trickier role because I want to support the movement and yet I don’t want to detract from it. For instance, I chose not to chant “I can’t breathe” because white people can breath; our society was built to allow white people to breathe, so if I were to participate in that particular chant I would have felt as though I was devaluing the struggles of people of color in this country. Not to say that white people shouldn’t take part in the movement, but they should be there only to support and not to impose.

One thought on “Altana’s Experience at the D.C. March

  1. Altana,

    I appreciate your insights about the participation of whites in these protests.

    “Participating in the march really made me consider the movement itself and especially my role in it. As a white person, it is a slightly trickier role because I want to support the movement and yet I don’t want to detract from it. For instance, I chose not to chant “I can’t breathe” because white people can breath; our society was built to allow white people to breathe, so if I were to participate in that particular chant I would have felt as though I was devaluing the struggles of people of color in this country. ”

    I am glad that you were able to be a part of the national march and represent our school. I too found it really meaningful to stand with so many. The speeches and emotions expressed were very moving.

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