The 'Superstore' actress takes a stand for our country's core beliefs.
"We are America," actor America Ferrera told a crowd of thousands at Washington, D.C.'s Women's March.
The message, a rebuke of the idea that any one politician can truly represent the great diversity that makes the U.S. the country it is today, came just one day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office.
"It’s been a heart-wrenching time to be a woman and an immigrant in this country ― a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday," Ferrera told the marchers. "But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America."
Other speakers include Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and many more.
The daughter of Honduran immigrants, Ferrera holds an acute awareness of what some of Trump's policies would mean for people like her parents.
The United States is a nation of immigrants. Some more recent than others, but for the overwhelming majority of our population, that is our history. Trump's victory and the brand of nationalism that he's bringing along with it represents a challenge to our core identity as a nation of immigrants. Ferrera wasn't having it.
"We march today for the moral core of this nation against which our new president is waging a war," she said. "He would like us to forget the words 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' and instead take up a credo of hate, fear, and suspicion of one another. But we are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say, Mr. Trump, we refuse."
Trump may be our president, but that does not mean he gets to dictate our country's values.
Ferrera spoke out against forms of division — some of which existed long before Trump's political rise — and urged the country to stand in solidarity with people of different races, ages, genders, sexualities, and countries of origin.
Human rights should not be a matter of debate, and we should not allow ourselves to lose those rights just because a politician says so. We cannot and should not go down without a fight. Ferrera's speech sends that message loud and clear.
It's on all of us to stand up for what we believe in. It's on all of us to model the positive change we want to see in the world.
To be sure, elections have consequences. The question remains, though, to what end? We must fight to affect the policy decisions our politicians — including Trump — make. We must push back on injustice. We must never forget who we are.