Michelle Goldberg writes: On Saturday in Washington, Rhonda Barnes, a 54-year-old wellness coach from Virginia, stood with her 32-year-old daughter, Michelle Mugg, in the endless throng on the mall at the Women’s March on Washington. It was the first political demonstration either had ever attended. Barnes said she’d been a little scared to make the trip into the city — the day before, she’d been alarmed by scenes of smoke-filled clashes between anarchists and police on television — “but I said I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m coming.”
Barnes described how she felt the day after Donald Trump won the election. “Sadness,” she said. “Confusion. Almost no hope.” Shortly afterward, Mugg’s 10-year-old daughter asked her grandmother, “The kids at school said once Trump gets elected he’s going to send all the black kids back to Africa. Am I going to have to go back to Africa? We’ve never been to Africa!” Barnes assured her granddaughter she would be staying in her country.
“This election brought awareness to the fact that people’s mindsets aren’t as progressive as we think they are,” Mugg said. “But I think the positive thing that we can take away from this election is that a lot of people who probably sat by, myself included, and didn’t vote at a local level, or pay attention to the policies that are in effect, are now showing up. Like here today.” Barnes, who is from Prince William County, Virginia, was wearing a T-shirt from her local National Organization for Women chapter. She’d gone to her first meeting the week before, after searching online for women’s organizations. “I like what I hear, I like the energy,” she said of NOW. “It gives me energy and it gives me hope.” [Continue reading…]