Tamika D. Mallory is one of four national co-chairs for the Women’s March on Washington, a mobilization expected to bring hundreds of thousands to D.C. on January 21, 2017. A well-known organizer in New York City and a nationally recognized champion of the civil rights movement, Tamika was instrumental in creating the NYC Crisis Management System, an official gun violence prevention program. After serving as National Action Network’s Executive Director, Tamika founded Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning firm with a specific focus on African American outreach.
Here, she explains the significance of building a resistance against the incoming presidency through the power of women.
There have been countless, disgusting incidents of hate against women since Donald Trump took office.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, a man threatened to light a Muslim woman on fire unless she removed her hijab. A few days later, in Colorado, a 12-year-old Black girl was told by a boy her age that he’d shoot her and all the other Blacks he could find. A day earlier, in Denver, a transgender woman’s car was spray-painted with the word “Die” and a Swastika. In New York, days after the election, an Asian woman was told to “go home” to where she came from, because “no one wants her f—king disease.”
These hideous examples of hate all have one thing in common: Women.
They may not have received the public attention as say, the murder of Sandra Bland. They may not have garnered the press coverage like stories like the off-duty Muslim NYPD officer who was told to “go back to her country” or she’d have her throat cut. But let’s not be confused. Each of these injustices reflect the typical prejudice and violence that has terrorized us as women—no matter the race.
It is for this reason that I am Co-Chair for the Women’s March on Washington, along with Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland. Because this hate, this violence and assault on women are not just because of our skin color, or religion, or sexual identity—at the end of the day, these attacks are by people preying on me and my sisters simply because of the vagina between our legs.
These perpetrators think we’re weak. They forget that we are the ones who can push a nine pound baby out of a hole the size of a pea; bleed and bounce back to do it again by giving birth to the world. They forget who we are, that we have a voice, an intuitive influential power that swivels the heads and minds of those we touch.
I’m involved with the Women’s March on Washington because sometimes we forget this power. We doubt ourselves, and separate ourselves by race, religion, or sexual orientation – and then think that we can solve all of these problems alone. We forget about the power in numbers needed when coming together as one and pushing back on the rapists, the racists, the prejudice, and those who think they can kill us, assault us, and brag about grabbing it without necessary repercussions.
I’m involved because this March isn’t just about Trump. We know these incidents were happening before he was elected. This March is about what he represents, as a powerful rallying figurehead to misogyny and a silent support of white supremacists, sexists, and those who feel entitled to try and legally tell me what to do with my body. It’s about the Supreme Court, Congress, local governors, and the district attorneys who need to prosecute officers for killing our brothers and sisters. For assaulting women. For the injustices against us as a people.
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This march is about Black women like myself raising a Black son in a society that tells him he is a criminal, that his battles in court will be lost, while preparing him subconsciously for a pipeline to prison. This march is about my Asian, Native American and LGBTQ sisters. I am marching beside my Mexican sister, Carmen Perez, whose family members fear deportation. I am marching for my Palestinian-American sister Linda Sarsour, who fights every day for Muslims who are living in fear of violence and terror.
We’re working around the clock to pull together what we believe will be one of the most historic moments of women from different races coming together to make our voices heard on issues pertaining to marginalized communities. We are the percentages of racial backgrounds that did NOT vote for Trump. That’s millions. Millions from all ethnicities and background, millions of women of all colors – Black, white, brown, yellow did NOT vote for hate. Millions. Those are the ones unified on deck.
Because when there’s a protest, the people look up. Standing Rock and Ferguson proved that. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proved that. When we stand and march on Washington—as women—the people will sit up and pay attention while we are standing up. We show the right side of history when we unify to show the power when we collectively hold.
Because unity is how Trump won the election. They called it a white-lash that got Trump into office. A unified allegiance of white people who didn’t necessarily agree with one another or even like one another, but they had one shared agenda. They wanted to take America back. If we don’t counter this white-lash, with a multicolored–lash that cracks the whip harder than any slave master did when America was so-called “great,” then we are doomed to have our children and grandchildren and generations yet to be born affected by our apathy, resentment, distrust, singularity, and unwillingness to come together with the realization that power comes in numbers. That’s what they’ve realized. They’re organizing, aligning, and growing more powerful every day. When we counter this structure, put aside our difference and come together—like they are—we’ll prove that there are more of us than them. That there is a powerful alliance of hundreds of thousands of amazing women with a shared common goal dedicated to collectively pushing back on their racist and misogynist nonsense.
I know I’m bringing my sisters and my people, and I ask those who see this common need to join us while we continue to be in the shed, making our own table. We must stand up in the middle of that table, when any meeting is taking place about women’s rights, and push back on enemies of us as women. We will fight with our voice and our style with our own people in Washington on January 21.
Numbers speak volumes. Numbers show power. Add to the numbers, come have a seat at the table and show our power as women—unified—by joining us on January 21 as we March on Washington.