Stronger together

Following Gloria Steinem’s message of connectedness, we must work as one

One of Gloria Steinem’s most poignant arguments during her talk March 1 at Laxson Auditorium was that we must get past our differences in order to move forward. That’s a strange concept, she acknowledged, considering so many forces seem to want to keep us apart. Think about it: Men versus women. Straight versus gay. Black versus white. Christian versus Muslim. Rich versus poor. You name a segment of society and there’s likely another segment it’s supposed to be “against.”

“It’s a time of connections, yet there are forces trying to break us apart from within,” Steinem said.

Of course, there’s evidence that those forces are losing ground. Look at the Women’s March, held in January, that attracted women of every color and creed but also men, children and the LGBT community. What began as a march for equality for women quickly became a march for equality. Period.

And we saw it recently with the cleanup at the Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and Philadelphia, where hundreds of headstones had been vandalized. Naturally, many Jewish groups and individuals stepped up to help cleanup and repair efforts. But, in a statement of solidarity, Muslim activist Tarek El-Messidi called on his brethren to “stand together against this bigotry.” His fundraising effort raised over $130,000 for the cemetery repairs.

This is how we must approach forces that wish to divide us. We must see past our differences to what unites us. We’re stronger together.