Stand Up, Fight Back

January 25, 2017

There are millions of thoughts that have been floating around in my head since this past Friday, but somehow I’m still at a loss for words. How did we get to this point?

Within the past four days, Trump has chosen to use Executive Order to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, reinstate the Global Gag Rule , push forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline, and withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, just to name a few. He as also banned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from posting anything on social media, and making any press releases. In addition, Trump’s administration plans to eliminate The National Endowment For The Arts.

And this is only the beginning.

On Saturday, I attended the Women’s March on Washington in downtown Phoenix, along with my mom, sister, and thousands of other women. It was a short march, as far as peaceful protests go, but it reminded me that I’m not done fighting.

Since Trump has taken office, lawmakers in eight states have proposed laws that will make peaceful protest a criminal offense. I read that story, and my heart stopped. I’ve been participating in peaceful protests since I was 4, back when my mom and I would stand with the group “Women In Black” to protest war and violence happening around the world. Later, I marched with groups of people in Arizona, protesting SB 1070, a bill that would encourage racial profiling. Still later on, I went on to participate in many more. From boycotting events at my middle school, to giving a curtain speech exposing the censoring of the arts at my high school, to inviting my college peers to march with me in the wake of the results of the last election, I have always considered myself an activist. But what if my state said otherwise?

I feel privileged in many ways: to come from a financially secure family, to be able to afford to go to a 4 year institution, to be straight, to be cis-gendered, to have health insurance, the list goes on. At the same time, I’m terrified to be a Japanese American woman living in a nation that does not respect women or minorities. This isn’t a far off distant nightmare–this is real life.

I meet the current state of our nation with so much hate and anger at what is being done. I come to this point with a feeling of “I told you so,” directed at those who asked me to “give him a chance.” The question of “why?” never leaves my brain, coupled with “how could you?” when I meet those who voted for this reality. My heart breaks when I see posts from my LGBTQ, racially diverse, 1st generation friends, talking about how angry and sad and downright terrified they are. I think how much a serious disease, a broken leg, or an unexpected pregnancy without healthcare and family planning services, will change my life. I look to the future and I wonder if we’ll even make it that far. I enter into the next four years prepared to fight.

So here I am, Fired Up Ready to Go, Still With Her, Standing with Planned Parenthood, saying No DAPL, Black Lives Matter, My Body My Choice, and finally, Not My President. This isn’t a fight we can afford to lose.

Xo, Willa

  • Reply
    Walter Gustafson
    January 25, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Wonderfully said, well done.

  • Reply
    Friendly Conservative
    January 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

    What is there left for you to fight for, you literally lost. How about you accept it like a grown ass woman, and get a real damn job,like all of the working class people who actually wanted to see a change in our country. All of Trumps policies have been great and 100% beneficial towards the betterment of America and its people. Maybe if you went to an actual college and not to some Liberal brainwashing Gorge Soros operated and funded establishment, you would actually know the reality of living in the United States and not this unicorn ass rainbows land, you currently reside in. #notmypresident has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of and I cannot believe that you man hating feminists cows cannot get over the fact that you lost. How about you do something productive to society that actually contributes to the betterment of the people instead of theater or what ever bull shit major you’re getting. Donald J Trump is the LGBTQ candidate, remember that Hillary took open donations from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan who behead people and stone them for being GAY. So I don’t know how you can openly support a candidate whom openly took donations from these countries. But I digress because Trump Daddy won, and you have to accept it. Even if you HAD a good reason to impeach him, you have to remember that the Republicans control the House and the Senate so good luck. I would be very interested to know when any of these protests have actually resulted in anything other then Riots, arrests, vandalism, and litter. By what I can see, I don’t see any policies changing except for those making protesting(rioting) more illegal to do since you immature children seem to always want to destroy everything in your path. I suggest you do actual research and not pull your facts from CNN and the Huffing ton Post. You should try to challenge the Liberal brainwashing done to you since you were a child. In closing I just hope that you realize that all of your bitching and moaning will never accomplish anything and your better off attempting to play chess with a pigeon.

    -Your friendly Conservative

    • Reply
      January 25, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’d love to respond to a couple of your points.
      1) Since you’re concerned about my credentials, I attend Boston University, which is a private institution. And while I do study theatre, I’m also focusing on a concentration in pre-law, not that one is more valuable than the other, but simply that I have interests outside the arts as well! I would love to know where you went to school and your major too!
      2) I don’t know about you, but I remember all of the hate that Obama endured when he was first elected. #NotMyPresident was shouted loud and clear then as well.
      3) Why do you feel the need to call women “cows?” Does it make you feel more like a man? Because from my perspective (and from the perspective of many other people I know) name calling does not give you the upper hand!
      4) Throughout American history protesting has been a way for people to change the minds of others, yet many people, such as yourself, seem to be extremely upset by it. Why is that the case?
      5) Please cite your sources in regards to your comments regarding Hillary.
      6) If you truly believe that all of Trump’s policies are great, then you should feel very lucky that you are not among the majority of people who will take a loss. Whether that be in terms of having to pay for medical services out of pocket, losing lower income jobs, or realizing that female contraception (birth control) is no longer going to be as accessible, most people will be hurting. I’m so glad though that you, as an individual, will be just fine.
      6) Again, calling someone an “immature child” achieves what exactly?
      Lastly, I know that your online persona is called “Friendly Conservative.” After rereading your own comment, perhaps you’ll consider changing that. May I suggest “The Antagonized Conservative” or “The Irritable Conservative”? Those might be a better fit.
      Oh! Also, it’s *you’re (…YOU’RE better off attempting to play chess with a pigeon.) Just for future reference!
      Have a great day!!

    • Reply
      Friendly Liberal
      January 25, 2017 at 7:39 am

      I wonder what it’s like to have a penis this small.

  • Reply
    4 Positive Things the US/AZ Did This Year – What She Is
    July 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

    […] too, and it’s definitely something I’ll never forget. The energy and power that I felt being part of the Phoenix march was unreal. It makes me hopeful that so many people want to come together and fight for their […]

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