I was a participant in downtown Asheville on Friday, June 24, of the rally and demonstration against the radical Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe that had codified a woman’s right to choose as the law of the land. It was a powerful and unifying experience on many accounts, and the overt anger was justifiable. The loss of a right to privacy, basic autonomy and the placing of an undue burden into the lives of millions of women are unacceptable prejudices.
The crowd enthusiastically applauded every issue raised by the leaders of the event. But in calling out and chastising various organizations and policies such as the Supreme Court itself, the Republican Party and the breakdown of the separation between church and state, there were two glaring mistakes made by one of the primary speakers that the crowd seemed to agree with.
First, the speaker said through her megaphone “F*** Democrats,” which was followed by loud applause. Second, and more glaring, she then said, “F*** voting. It’s a waste of time.” This again was followed by loud approval from the crowd. The speaker seemed to be either unaware or not care that Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is running for a House of Representatives seat in our 11th Congressional District against Chuck Edwards. Jasmine’s platform is consistent with what this rally was about.
The core of any democracy is participation by we the people in stating our preferences through the ballot box. Jasmine needs the votes of every one of the participants who were at this rally. To not vote for this outstanding woman is to essentially guarantee that the situation is going to get worse, in part because of the platform of her opponent. Words matter. And there were many powerful words spoken at this rally. Most of them were spot on. A few of them were self-defeating, and that’s the last thing that is needed in these incredibly difficult times.
— Richard Boyum