EDITORIAL: Why they marched

first_imgOn Saturday March 24, millions of Americans marched, ostensibly to demand action from state and federal legislators in implementing more effective gun control laws.The march called, “March for Your Lives,” initiated from the tragic mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month. However, the extremely high turn-out to the primary march in Washington DC, and in cities across the country was motivated by reasons other than the need for more effective gun control laws.Marched out of frustrationThousands of Americans, adults and children, marched because they are frustrated. Frustrated because time and time again they have been suckered into electing politicians who steal their votes with empty promises. Politicians who on taking office seem to disappear into an environment oblivious to the demands of voters.Healthcare reformPeople voted in politicians in recent elections to provide them with affordable healthcare. While the Obama administration implemented what turned out to be a contentious healthcare plan, the current set of politicians in the US Congress have neither been able to improve on this plan, nor replace it with one that’s more effective. So, millions of Americans remain without affordable healthcare, and they too marched.Immigration reformPeople also voted in recent elections for politicians who promised to, and whom they believed would, finally address the long, outstanding problem of immigration reform. Today, millions of immigrants from the Caribbean and other countries are living in America in fear of being deported in the absence of clear, definitive immigration laws permitting them to be in the US legally, on or without condition, or force them to leave.It does seem implausible that series of elected politicians in successive administrations over several decades haven’t found consensus on a fair, comprehensive immigration policy, So, millions of Americans remain frustrated without clear immigration directions. Thousands of these people also marched.Federal minimum wageFor decades, millions of Americans have been forced to earn paltry incomes tagged to a federal approved minimum wage that’s far distanced from the reality of the average cost of living. It’s pathetic that America, a nation that boasts of being the richest on Earth, has the lowest hourly federal minimum wage ($7.25) of all western developed countries. Certainly, lower than neighboring Canada where the minimum wage is C$14 or US$10.69. So, thousands of Americans who are frustrated at living below a minimum living wage also marched.Women rightsMillions of American women continue to live in a nation where they are treated to extensive inequalities in pay, benefits, and general working conditions. Millions of women, are also consistently blatantly abused sexually and domestically despite their collective appeal for more stringent laws and punishment to protect them from male  perpetuators. Still, million more single mothers and heads of household struggle to raise families with scant public assistance that could be taken away any day. These women are dreadfully frustrated, and they too marched.Yes, thousands of Americans joined the march for more effective gun court laws, while really marching for myriad underscored reasons on March 24, because of growing, pent up frustrations.Now what?But, after the march, then what? Will they be less frustrated?In former years millions also marched, most notably for civil rights. Some of these marches were considered successful as they did motivate the passage of laws that met the demands of the marchers.Within the last 14-months, Americans have marched for a variety of reasons, including women rights and immigration reform, to little or no avail. So far, elected officials in the US Congress and several state capitols remain oblivious to the demands of the people. Legislators meet, they debate, even draft bills, but repeatedly failed to pass legislation that is sought by  majority of votersSome people, cannot help but wonder if the anticipated magnitude of the March for Life will make any difference.Hopeful profound message was sentIt’s hopeful the march sent a profound message, and will be a key factor that generate effective legislative changes in gun control, and although while not the purpose of the march, in other areas in which Americans are frustrated. And, God forbid, if there is no change after this march, then come November 6, people must march to the voting booth and remove every non-performing elected politician.last_img

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