Resist; Persist.

It’s been 20 days since the Women’s March on DC (and the World). Resistance is not futile, but persistence is hard.

Earlier this week I shut down Twitter while trying to get some work done. Messages were flying so fast it was bogging down my system – and here I mean my computer not my head, although both may certainly have been true. When I turned things back on I was inspired by the stories flying past with the quote, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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┬áThese words resonated somewhere deep inside me. I know that part of what drives me is the desire to follow my passion while proving wrong all my detractors. That physics teacher I had junior year who warned me that I shouldn’t try and go into science, who explained he was giving me a C to prevent me from persisting…. I’m apparently still angry about that, and that anger fuels me as I persist in finding ways to stay in science.
While I personally fight to find funding to keep sciencing, I have to acknowledge that there is a much bigger fight that must be fought – a battle for the equal right to just exist for everyone. As I sit here wearing an Amy Davis Roth designed sweat shirt that says, “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance“, and seeing the news of so many lives simply being thrown away… It is almost too much.
But then I see these faces on my Twitter feed, and I’m reminded of the people who found the strength to keep persisting, and I know I too must find my way to resist and persist.
The posts I was seeing were inspired by the Feb 8 actions of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). This fighter from my home state tried to read a letter by Coretta Scott King that criticized then nominee, and now sworn in Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Rather than describe what happened, I’m going to encourage you to just watch this video.


In response of Warren’s continued attempt to speak and the following vote to demand her silence, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KS) remarked, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Had McConnell just let her speak, this inspirational moment on Twitter might never have happened. The letter, and the concerns it raises for the equitable treatments of racial minorities might have gone largely unrecognized. A new rallying cry was created behind the basic truth: She resisted.

I still wish she hadn’t needed to persist. I wish her voice had been respectfully allowed to rise.

In the social media dialogue that followed, many of us discussed how we want to hold on to this moment. Tattoos were being tattooed, and protest posters purchased. In a thread on Facebook, I asked for something more lasting (perhaps something I could get stamped into metal) and reached out to artist, engineer, and overall awesome human Ryan Consell. He came back with the concept of a resistor symbol and a heartbeat. With permission, I added words and expanded the beating heart. This was our result.

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This is a result that goes beyond “She persisted.” It acknowledges we must all keep resisting and keep the heat on as we push to create a world that is safe and equitable and where no life has less worth. Black lives matter. Refugees need sanctuary. Just as I personally must keep resisting the voices that push against women in science, and keep persisting, I must also help others resist, and persist so that tomorrow maybe these words can a historic rallying cry that is no longer needed.

We don’t have this stamped into metal. We do have t-shirts and mugs. We have setup a Redbubble account where you can order a myriad of other things with this symbol, both with and without words. All proceeds raised through sales will be donated to ACLU.org.

Resist.

Persist.

And make tomorrow better.

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2 Comments

  1. Benny Swiader February 12, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    We all know of the Civil War. Then much later the Cold War. I believe we are entering into a Civil-Cold war. We must resist. Keep doing what you do. Don’t ever change.

  2. Khadijah Shareef February 15, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    I SWEAR this is exactly what I felt and saw in my mind when first hearing about EW being silenced. Of course first I said – ok so now they put “the woman” in her place; then immediately down in the pit of my stomach I was reminded of how long “they” had been silencing the “black” she/woman and how much we have persisted; through experiences that would have crushed weaker souls! So the thought of her being silenced didn’t have the same effect on me as a 55 y/o black woman in America.
    Thank you for your words and your spirit!
    #whyimarch
    Khadijah

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