WKU Professor Says Grassroots Rallies Preserve Civil Rights as Others Celebrate Trump Inauguration

Jan 19, 2017

Patricia Minter is an associate professor of history at Western Kentucky University.
Credit Jacob Dick

While thousands of Americans will be in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the Inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, thousands of others are expected to take part in the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21 in protest of what they see as Trump’s discriminatory views of many minority groups. Regional rallies in support of the Women’s March are being held across the nation.

Patricia Minter is an associate professor of history at Western Kentucky University. She says that shapes her perspective on why the local marches are so important.

“As a historian of discrimination and rights and human rights and social movements, I’m actually really amazed, in the best possible way, that this has become a huge grassroots movement where people who are unable to travel to the nation’s capital will have the opportunity to express their solidarity with the national movement.”

Minter is planning to take part in the “Power Together Tennessee” march in Nashville. While the march is in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, Minter says the rallies speak to the broader issues of civil rights.

“Women’s rights are human rights. And this is not designed to divide people. It’s designed to call people in and to show that until all people have rights, then everyone’s rights are seriously in jeopardy.”

Minter she sees the grassroots activities taking place around Trump’s Inauguration as a critical part of America’s right to peaceful freedom of expression.