The battle continues
PSC Students March for equal rights
by Sean Minton
Instead of relaxing on a Saturday like many other young adults, Pensacola State College students Alyssa Dunaway, Brianna Hoomes, Shelby Spiegehalter and Erin Fairall spent their day marching in the rain for equal rights in downtown Pensacola.
An Individual may feel may feel like their voice cannot be heard in this nation, but when given the opportunity to protest in the Women’s March, multiple PSC students stood up for what they believed in, equality for all.
They were not alone; over 2,000 citizens came together to support the Women’s March January 21st at Plaza de Luna. It did not stop there as thousands more continued to march throughout the nation and worldwide.
Protestors held multiple signs to express their opinion. One poster said “The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off. – Gloria Steinem” Others simply said “Women’s rights are Human rights.” All displayed causes for equality and change.
“We want to support women in our community as well as the more marginalized communities, and stand up for our health, our safety, and our rights especially with the new administration that is threatening a lot of those things.” stated Kelly Bushnell Co-organizer for the Women’s March in Pensacola.
While some called for equal rights for all, others marched to protest newly sworn in President, Donald Trump, in response to his past remarks concerning women, the LGBT community and people of color.
Inequality concerns are not beliefs pulled out of thin air but are backed up by multiple alarming polls and statistics. Women, on average, are paid less than men. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), white women are paid 76%, Black women are paid 62% and Hispanic women are paid 54% compared to white men.
Women are not the only group facings issues. Statistics show that LGBT youth do not feel safe, especially at home. According to ThinkProgress, 40% of the youth are homeless due to family members not accepting their sexual orientation. 43% of those youth were forced out of their homes by their parents.
The discrimination does not stop there. People of color have their fair share of difficulties. Convicted black offenders serve a 20% longer sentence than white offenders, for the same crime according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
These were the messages the men and women at the march were expressing. “We are not the only people angry about what is happening and want things to change. Just to come together in solidarity as a community. We need to stand up and kick some ass, honestly!” said Dunaway.
Supporting a cause is not possible unless action is made by the supporters. “Being behind a computer screen is not the way to change anything. You really have to show up and be there,” said Spiegelhalter.
Even though the nation is divided at this time, equality is a subject that should not be disregarded. “I think it is important that we see that all of us continue to come together, and we don’t become complacent over the next four years,” said Hoomes.
Until equal rights are acquired for all, these women and men will continue to express their freedom of speech. “We are so proud of this community and the way these women have come together,” said Bushnell. “We see you, we support you, you are not alone and we have your back.”