I initially decided to participate in the Women’s March on Washington because of the audacity I was seeing in people, during and after the election. Trump had emblazoned millions with a very vocal and physical hatred that I believe has no place in this world, especially not America of all places.
I marched because white privilege is Brock Turner getting three months for rape while most black men are incarcerated for a year on drug charges. It is Austin Harrouff being caught eating a couple's faces in Florida and living to tell about it, while Philando Castile is shot dead in his car with his baby girl in the back seat while retrieving his wallet that the officer asked for.
I marched because it says something to take your head out of the sand and realize that white privilege is not an insult, not something to be ashamed of. It is something that should fuel you to help others. Use your privileged voices to speak for those who can't.
I marched because I constantly have to remind white people that they will never have to scream that their life matters. You can say "all lives matter" all you want, but if you can't stand next to a black person and scream that black lives matter, then maybe all lives don’t really matter.
I marched because I’m tired of seeing rich men make laws against my body and saying it's "in my best interest.” My body, my business.
I marched because I'm tired of seeing young women harassed for being sexually active. Boys are congratulated, high-fived, told to wrap it up, while girls are shamed and told they better be careful or people will start calling them sluts.
I marched because I am so tired of ignorant people being too lazy to figure out the real cause of abortions: Little to no sex education, no easy access to birth control, the stigma attached to buying condoms, a lack of open conversations about sex, about hormones, about safety, no support system, no accountability for the male.
I marched because I am tired of hearing people say, "Go back to where you came from!" to people that don't look or speak like them. As a human being, you do not treat other human beings like that. Some people are blessed enough to be born here in America, while others have to flee here. Acknowledge your blessings. You didn't earn your spot here in America; your family before you made some good decisions.
I marched for the LGBT community because they deserve the same rights as everyone else, including getting a cake made for their wedding day. Including being able to visit their partner in the hospital, including being able to get a divorce like the rest of us. Gaining their basic rights does not take away from yours.
I marched because somewhere along the way people seemed to have forgotten Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." Even when they don't look like you, or speak like you, or dress like you, or agree with you.
(Amanda Dennis is a Senoia native who now resides in Atlanta.)