[Wildcat Online: opinions] [ad info]





Purpose behind marches

By James Uhrig
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 18, 2000
Talk about this story

To the editor,

Zack Armstrong's opinion, "Why are we marching again?" (February 15), has provided us all with food for thought. So many of us - participants and non-participants alike - take protest marches for granted. It's easy to forget why we do them.

First, let me point out that the march held last Sunday culminated in a rally on the UA Mall. This rally was an integral part of the action which allowed for a fuller expression of the issues at stake.

It's true that marching "isn't enough." It's also true that apathy and prejudice will not disappear as a result. Then why bother?

Marching is a public affirmation of identity, community and values. It is both a declaration and a demonstration of such values as respect for ourselves and others - the intrinsic worth and dignity of every human being - and the need for everyone, including ourselves, to be treated with kindness and compassion.

He says marching needs to be "replaced with something better," but offers no suggestions.

He says we should be more subtle. If marching seems counterproductive because it makes people uncomfortable, then he doesn't understand that an important part of the problem with prejudice is society's denial of it.

Indeed, complacency and apathy are as much a part of what we're fighting as anything else.

Getting out on the streets and being part of a very visible presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is risky. And, as Sarah Schulman wrote at the end of "My American History," "it has no inherent concrete social gains accompanying it." However, it's crazy to expect society to pay any attention to those who have chosen safety over self-respect.

James Uhrig

UA technical services team

[end content]
[ad info]