The Girl Scouts of America are defending their decision to have members march in the Inauguration Parade Friday that’ll honor president-elect Donald Trump. Though the Girl Scouts have been “appearing at inaugural events throughout their history,” according to NBC News, their decision to participate this year has been met with a wave of criticism. Can you guess why? Well, because of Trump’s sexist comments and those allegations of sexual assault (among other reasons).
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 17, 2017
It's true that the Girl Scouts always participate in Inauguration (individuals by choice, of course), but this year should be the exception.
— Nicole Chung (@nicole_soojung) January 18, 2017
— Scott Nevins (@ScottNevins) January 19, 2017
In a statement to NBC News, the group explained the thought process behind their decision to march:
“Of course, we are a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that by law cannot take positions on political candidates or parties—and we take this very seriously. Advocating for change on issues one cares about isn’t at odds with participating in a century-long tradition that represents the peaceful exchange of power. Our fundamental value is empowering girls to be leaders in their own lives. By helping them build the courage, confidence, and character to lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them, Girl Scouts supports girls as they become catalysts for change who strengthen their communities.”
The 75 members will also attend the Women’s March on Washington — which represents a notably progressive platform — the day after the Inauguration Parade. Participation is voluntary, according to the Girl Scouts’s official website.
Speaking about both the Inauguration Parade and the Women’s March, the organization wrote, “At Girl Scouts, our Movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our Movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs, and political ideology.”