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A Weekend Whirlwind in Washington

Caitlyn Vester

Caitlyn Vester

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This weekend, the nation’s capital garnered the attention of the entire world. From now-President Trump’s inauguration to the Women’s March, America’s rich proponents of democracy were on full display. This year consisted of a highly unusual and historic election and this weekend was a culmination of its buildup.

Two of Rocky Mount Academy’s students were in Washington on January 20th, the day on which American’s observe the peaceful transition of power every four to eight years. Gracie Cox, a senior, attended the National Young Leaders’ Conference, and was in the crowd during Donald Trump’s swearing in. Dalton Tharrington, a freshman, was also a part of the crowd of onlookers as Chief Justice John Roberts read the Oath of Office. After his swearing in, President Trump gave his Inaugural Address. As expected, much of the speech emphasized the ideals that his campaign focused on: representing the “forgotten men and women” of our country in Washington, creating jobs, and increasing nationalism. He also urged for a movement toward unity in our country. After his speech, the world of social media jumped to claims that parts of the speech had been plagiarized. One false claim even stated that some of his words even came from an animated film, Bee Movie. While these claims may be sparked by humor, the fact that many Americans will not investigate this information makes our latest viral posts even more powerful. Perhaps the fact that this seemingly outlandish claim even prompts us to fact-check speaks even louder volumes. The world of technology in which we live has deflated the presence of factual information, and has therefore inflated its worth.

On the day after the Inauguration, the D.C. Women’s March took place. This widespread event was composed of participants from across the globe, on all seven continents to be exact. The march was originally inspired by reactions to the election of Donald Trump. For the most part, the marchers were motivated to stand, in solidarity, for women’s rights. This being said, a lot of the sentiments shared by the participants were overwhelmingly in opposition to the ideals that Donald Trump and his administration hold. After the march became headline news, a plethora of opinions formed around it. Some claimed that marchers needed to stop asking for attention and accept the results of the election; however, there was a large backing for the argument that these participants were taking a righteous stand in accordance with their beliefs. Their statements converged and imbued themselves with each other, making for a diverse and far-reaching initiative. While there were some undeniably violent protests across the city in retaliation to the swearing in of President Trump, no arrests were made of Women’s March participants. The intended underlying message of the movement was one of confidence and the desire to be heard. While some identify with the message of the event, others may not. Nonetheless, it is indisputable that the mission of this collectivized group was successful in drawing attention to the issues that they are most chiefly concerned with.

In other news this weekend, new Press Secretary Sean Spicer came under fire after his very first briefing. In his statements, he claimed that the media had falsely painted the picture that Trumps inauguration was widely unattended. Instead, he stated that it had been the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” After this claim was debunked, many were concerned by the idea that the White House would spread falsehoods about such an insignificant thing in order to present a well-received image. Many were outraged by the principle that crowd sizes were such a large topic of discussion when Americans are concerned with much more important issues. Kellyanne Conway made headlines when she defended Press Secretary Spicer by saying that he had given “alternative facts”. Conway was criticized for painting a better image of the fact that a lie is a lie. Since this snafu, Spicer has spoken out and said to the American people, “Our intention is never to lie to you.” Despite this apology, it will be interesting to see how well the Trump administration can improve their image after getting off on a rough foot just after assuming their roles.

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The student news site of Rocky Mount Academy in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
A Weekend Whirlwind in Washington