On The Beat: 1/17

Swearing-in

Miami Valley will be well-represented at 58th presidential Inauguration Day

By Jim Bucher

OK, unless you’ve been living under a rock or a broken voting machine, you hopefully know by now we’re getting a new president this Friday, Jan. 20. (Was that commentary?)

And I don’t really care what your politics are—that’s not the point of this story, but rather, it’s a historical moment that many in the Miami Valley will experience up close and personal.

Yes, Dayton will be well represented on both sides of the aisle at the Inauguration and the following day’s Women’s March on Washington.

First, the swearing-in.

Clayton City Council Member Kenny Henning is attending.

“I went to President Obama’s second inauguration in 2013 with Congressman Turner, and I was grateful for the invitation from his office for this year’s inauguration. We are looking forward to witnessing the peaceful transfer of power, and it will be my father’s first time ever in Washington D.C.,” Henning says.

And what is Councilman Henning expecting?

“To witness a peaceful transfer of power and see many Americans travel to this event. Hoping people at least try to support the new president until the first actions happen,” he says. “It’s like going to a birthday party: you may not like everyone else there, but THERE MIGHT BE A GOOD CAKE! Let’s hope for good cake.”

Lori Simms Parks from Kettering plans a teaching moment.

“My 16-year-old son was energized by the electoral process of the election,” she says. “On election night, he knew all the Electoral College votes per state, was engaged and enthusiastic to see the long political process come to an end. Because of this, I wanted him to see the process through the Inauguration. I have attended two previous inaugurations and know what a great experience it is to experience.”

That’s a cool mom.

Now, with every good democracy, we have the unalienable right to assemble and protest peacefully. The day after the swearing-in ceremony, the Women’s March on Washington will take place. This was organized by a group of women on Facebook who want to make sure the new administration sees thousands standing together, “in solidarity with our partners and children for protection of rights, our safety, our health and our families” per the group’s website.

Longtime friend Sheila Vickers from Dayton is fired up: “Jim, I’m going with three other friends. We feel like the new administration wants to turn the clock back, and, frankly, it scares me. We’ve come so far now to go in reverse. They talk about ‘the good old days.’ What does that mean—segregation, no women’s rights? There’s strength in numbers and we hope the tens of thousands of women and men coming together as one will send a very strong message. We are still here and not going anywhere. We’ll be watching.”

My friend Malcolm Keith is going. I met him and his family at Kings Island years ago when he was just a youngster. We have remained friends and he is now 24-years-old and working for Uncle Sam in Virginia.

He is one of many males supporting the Women’s March on Washington.

“I decided to go because I’ve been surrounded by women all my life, strong women that have taught me the importance of standing up for what is right,” Malcolm says. “Women that have taught me that it is OK to check my manhood and ego at the door to listen to issues that I may not be aware of. I believe that women are the backbone of my existence. That’s not to say that our men aren’t as important, but it’s the adoration, love, and compassion from a woman that no man will ever replace. I feel it my obligation as a man to let my women know that I respect them, love them, cherish them, and adore them.”

And his planned takeaway?

“Hopefully, more talking points that I can use in my day-to-day life in conversations and walks of life that I’d normally steer away from,” Keith says. “I’m planning on taking away women’s issues that I’m unaware of and what I can do about them in my day-to-day life. ‘Nothing in the world is most dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.’ —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I plan to take away anything that will keep me from being sincerely ignorant on women’s issues.”

Super proud of this young man. Parents, you “done good.”

With half the country divided on this new president (and not to sound clichéd), only time will tell.

Just pray the clock won’t run out.

Cheers, and seriously, God Bless America.

Buch

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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