The Girl Scouts of the USA have sometimes come under fire from conservatives for perceived political biases, though the kids organization is now facing pushback from those frustrated by the group’s planned participation in Friday’s inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.
The group is under fire after reports emerged last week that it will take part in the inaugural parade, with some pretty prominent people pointing to past comments Trump has made about women to push-back against that appearance, as NBC News reported.
— Christie Brinkley (@SeaBrinkley) January 19, 2017
But rather than back out of the event, the Girl Scouts published a relatively long explanation on Wednesday detailing why 75 of its scouts will voluntarily march in the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade, noting that the local council in Washington, D.C., has taken part for the past 100 years.
As it turns out, members of the organization also have plans to participate in Sunday’s Women’s March.
“As part of this unique experience, these girls will gain insight into the time-honored democratic tradition of a peaceful transition of power,” the statement said. “Then, the very next day, Saturday, January 21, women and girls, including Girl Scouts, from across the country will descend on Washington to participate in the Women’s March and similar events in communities across the country.”
— Scott Nevins (@ScottNevins) January 19, 2017
The Girl Scouts went on to say that it is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and is, thus, precluded from taking political stances on candidates and parties, adding that the movement is made up of people who hold a variety of diverse political beliefs. Plus, the organization said it’s essential to have a seat at the table.
“Being a leader means having a seat at the leadership table no matter what. It means being willing to work with whomever happens to hold political power,” the post continued. “It means preparing girls not to run from the face of adversity, but to stand tall and proud and announce to the world, and the powers that be, that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that their needs, ideas, and views must be taken seriously. To do otherwise is to tell girls to sit down and be quiet — and that they don’t count.”
In the end, the Girl Scouts simply concluded that participating in the inaugural festivities is about observing the peaceful transition of power as the organization has for a century. Critics, of course, fervently disagree, expressing their dismay on social media.
— Po Murray (@ponumurray) January 18, 2017
As NBC News reported, this isn’t the first time the Girl Scouts have landed in the headlines for controversy. The group has sparked debate over accepting transgender children, over some of its workbooks and over other claims of bias. This time, though, it seems the organization is taking heat for a very different reason.
Over 117,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition urging the Girl Scouts to “boycott Trump’s inauguration,” demanding that the girls’ group stand by its “values.”
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