10 Responses to I was there, Saturday January 21, 2017

  1. Wendy Mensch says:

    So proud of you, Sarah. Both for your strength and fortitude in speaking out for the principles you hold so dear, and for your ability to write about them in an engaging, interesting fashion. Keep it up!

  2. LB says:

    Thank you for speaking out on behalf of all those affected, Sarah. It’s the impassioned voice of young people like you, joined together and informed, who’ll have the greatest chance of creating meaningful change.

    I hope you’ll consider learning more about the root causes of many of the issues you care about , including the ongoing role the U.S. and its leaders (both liberals and conservatives) have consistently played in creating (and detaining/criminalizing) Muslim and Central American refugees, Mexican immigrants and in militarily and financially supporting oppressive extremist regimes, creating & arming terrorists and murdering & *displacing* innocent civilians by U.S. bombs, drones, bullets and sanctions.

    If interested in broader and deeper historical analysis and fact-based perspectives on current events (those not generally available through the mainstream media), I’d recommend some of the older as well as more recent writings of journalists like Chris Hedges (TruthDig, RT) and Paul Street, and former U.S. Marine turned peace-activist, Vincent Emanuele (TeleSur, CounterPunch). Also anything appearing on the black left news site, “Black Agenda Report” (one of BAR’s regular contributors was human rights activist, Ajamu Baraka, Green-Party Jill Stein’s 2016 running mate):


    Since you mentioned and are (rightly) concerned about affordable healthcare, I’d encourage you to learn more and to PLEASE consider becoming an advocate for single-payer, universal healthcare (Expanded and Improved Medicare For All, H.R. 676).

    Now is the ideal time to let our Democratic representatives know we want and need something more, with everybody in, nobody out. I phone my (Democratic) representatives on a regular basis, urging them to repeal and replace Obamacare and reintroduce H.R. 676. Two great online sources of information are “Physicians For a National Health Plan” (PNPH) and “Single-Payer Action”:



    Your (informed) voice ~and willingness to share that information~ can make a huge difference in the kind of world we live in.

    • Sarah Mensch says:

      Hi, LB! Thanks so much for reading my essay and for your lovely comments.

      I am always looking to learn more about these issues, and look forward to reading the links you’ve provided for me. I have been emailing representatives about my positions on various bills and other political activity going on in Washington and around the US, and am eager to apply the new knowledge you’ve supplied me to those positions.

      -Sarah, OP

  3. kathie mm says:

    Sarah, the activism demonstrated by you, your relatives, and your friends and millions of other men and women during the Women’s March on Saturday January 21 was just great. It reminds me of the enormous, dedicated, and fruitful energy underlying the recent Standing Rock and other resistance movements. For a great New York Times Magazine article on that movement, go to https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/magazine/the-youth-group-that-launched-a-movement-at-standing-rock.html?
    And for some really excellent advice on how to build on the courage and commitment of last Saturday to address some of the major and endemic problems that have been troubling our country for a long time, see this article from Common Dreams:

  4. LB says:

    Sarah ~ When considering the causes of suffering and injustices committed by the U.S. against millions of brown-skinned peoples, including Muslims, something else to keep in mind (which Kathie’s comment reminded me of, so thanks Kathie) is that Democratic senators (including Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) voted overwhelmingly to confirm Mad-Dog Mattis as Trump’s Secretary of Defense.

    “Sanders and Warren, leaders of the supposedly “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party, joined nearly every Democratic senator in giving their support to a general who is personally responsible for countless war crimes in Iraq”:

    Again, I’d encourage you to investigate and read the different perspectives and decide for yourself.

    • Sarah Mensch says:


      This does seem inconsistent with Warren and Sanders’ typical course of action. I think it would be helpful to wait for some explanation of Sanders’ vote, which the article said had not been released. I also have to wonder if perhaps Mad-Dog Mattis is either responsible for, or not responsible for some actions the public is unaware of but that Warren, Sanders, and other Democratic politicians know about, that would sway their decision. I could be completely wrong, and this could be a truly awful decision on their parts– but I trust these figureheads, and I would be very interested in knowing the full story before making any judgement on this.

      • LB says:

        Hi Sarah ~ Thanks for your thoughtful responses to both my comments. Although I’m sure the reasons are more politically complicated (and pragmatic), Senator Sanders has said he believes Mattis will have a “moderating influence” on some of Trump’s harsher positions:

        “General Mattis and General Kelly may not be the nominees I would have preferred for the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, but in a Trump cabinet likely to be loaded up with right-wing extremists, all of whom I will oppose, I hope General Mattis and General Kelly will have a moderating influence on some of the racist and xenophobic views that President Trump advocated throughout the campaign.”


        I’m glad you recognize the inconsistency in their support of someone accused of being responsible for the murder of innocent civilians, whose lives mattered as much as ours. It’s right for you investigate for yourself, and to allow critical thinking and compassion be your guides.

        It took a long time for me to develop confidence in my instincts, to trust them in making moral choices. I spent (and spend) a lot of time questioning, researching, uncovering and deciphering things, generally attempting to unlearn my earlier conditioning. Many a hero has fallen along the way, which was hard at first but also very freeing.

        Political leaders have a way of convincing us that the unacceptable and immoral is somehow acceptable, or not nearly as wrong as we might think. Our concerns become abstract thoughts, intellectual exercises to be reasoned away.

        Below is the link to an article outlining General Mattis’ alleged war crimes in greater detail. After reading it (and vetting the subject further if necessary), I hope you’ll ask yourself if this is a man you’d feel comfortable supporting for *any* leadership position, for *any* reason. I hope the answer is no and that you remain unwavering, strong in your convictions, with a fuller understanding of the nature of our system and its leaders:


        Good luck, Sarah! I wish you all the best on your journey, which is only just beginning.

  5. LB says:

    Correction: *James* Mattis, who has understandably objected to being referred to as “Mad-Dog”.

  6. David says:

    What a great read! I feel like it perfectly captured the spirit of the occasion. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

  7. AP says:

    You are a wonderful writer and person.

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