Posted on January 22, 2018

‘It Is Not up to Women of Color to Save This Country from Itself’

Minyvonne Burke, Daily Mail, January 21, 2018

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, has a message for white women when it comes to the fight for equality: ‘do better’.

Richards joined a host of other speakers, including Cher and civil rights icon congressman John Lewis, at Sunday’s Women’s March ‘Power to the Polls’ rally in Las Vegas.

While promoting equality, Richards addressed white women telling them to ‘do better’ because the burden to push the country forward cannot rest solely on women of color.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, pictured here at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York, gave a speech on equality at the Women’s March Power to the Polls rally telling white women they need to ‘do better’ because the burden of pushing this country forward cannot rest solely on women of color

Thousands of activists flocked to Las Vegas for the first Power to the Polls rally on Sunday, the one year anniversary of the inaugural Women’s March

Power to the Polls will target swing states and aims to recruit candidates to push back against the Trump administration and promote issues important to women and progressives

‘All across the country, the Women’s March inspired doctors and teachers and mothers to become activists and organizers and, yes, candidates for office,’ Richards said. A video of her speech is being widely circulated on Twitter.

‘And from Virginia to Alabama and to last week in Wisconsin, women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office…. Women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women.’

Richards then said all those victories were ‘made possible by women of color’.

‘So, white women, listen up. We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to do better,’ she said as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. ‘It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us.’

She added: ‘The good news is when we are in full on sisterhood, women are the most powerful, political force in America. And when we recognize that no one is free until everyone is free, and that means no matter what country you come from, no matter who you love, no matter what you look like. No matter what, we are unstoppable.’

Thousands of women gathered Sunday at the Sam Boyd Stadium following hundreds of sister marches across the United States for the second annual Women’s March. The protests, held in cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, was held exactly one year after President Trump was sworn into office.

More than 4,000 people were expected to attend the Las Vegas Power to the Polls rally

The rally was held one day after hundreds of sister marches for the second annual Women’s March

This was the first year Women’s March founders added the Power to the Polls rallies, which were also held in Florida’s Miami and St. Petersburg, as well as internationally in Paris, London and Melbourne, Australia.

Organizers of the Power to the Polls movement targeted swing states, including Nevada, aiming to recruit candidates to push back against the Trump administration and promote issues important to women, progressives and those feeling marginalized by the president’s policies.

Las Vegas was picked to be host of the first Power to the Polls rally because it will see a high-profile Senate race in the near future, with incumbent Republican Dean Heller being deemed particularly vulnerable by analysts in the 2018 elections. There are also some House seats that could be flipped, as well.

‘Last year, we dared to hope for a better, brighter, more inclusive world,’ Richards said. ‘And this year, we’re going to go out and build it.’

Going forward, the Women’s March founders will take the Power to the Polls rally to 10 swing states, hoping to encourage political action in those states.

They will aim to register new voters, advocate for policies and candidates that reflect the movement’s core values and look to help land more women and progressive candidates into political office.

In Miami, Local10 reported that many rally goers carried signs supporting DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Disagreement over the continuation of DACA is largely held responsible for the government shutdown.