On Saturday, 24 March 2018, I took another step towards feeling good about my life. I rose at 7:00 a.m., made coffee, had my usual soft-scrambled eggs in butter, and high-tailed it off the island. I made the hour’s drive to Sacramento and joined the March For Our Lives.
I had my picture taken by a man who said I looked beautiful. He’s supposed to text it to me — and I hope he does, because otherwise the only proof I have that I attended the rally in Sacramento consists of my own videos, pictures, and Facebook Live clips. I want posterity to know that I participated. Change might come; change might not. But I walked my values from a handicapped parking spot to the steps of the capitol building and stood with thousands of others who think that #enoughisenough.
I recall marching to Take Back the Night after a series of rapes in St. Louis during the late 1970s. A half-decade earlier, I served cold bottle water to hundreds of high school and college students raising money for urban development in rural Missouri in the Walk for Development. My activism isn’t a new phenomenon. But this time has a different cast to it. The world frightens me more than ever — perhaps exponentially so. Even here on my protected island — for I truly do live on an island — the terrible burdens of the world have impact. We try not to think about it, but it hits us anyway — the deaths in Florida, and Maryland, and even in Sacramento where 22-year-old Stephon Clark fell to police fire while standing in his grandmother’s backyard holding a cell phone.
“Nowadays, the world is lit by lightening.” (Tennessee Williams, A Glass Menagerie).
But now, the lightening isn’t something uncontrolled and threatening. Instead, the wrath of young people flashes through the sky. They will not tolerate further killing. Not one more. They will not stop until every step possible has been taken to curb gun violence in America.
I could not let their demonstrations pass without my attendance. I went to Sacramento to honor the passing of the torch to a generation which I believe will carry it higher, and farther, and to better end than we have seen for many years.
After all: They #marchforourlives.