One future leader came to national attention at last month’s historic March For Our Lives. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s granddaughter Yolanda Renee King spoke at event in Washington DC, echoing the words of her grandfather:
My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that Enough is Enough, and that this should be a gun free world — period.
No matter what your opinion on Gun Control is, you have to be inspired by this young generation and their inspiring desire for peace. The March for Our Lives is just a start of what is to come. Keep an Open Mind as these future leaders grow into our world and work to make change.
Spread the word! Have you heard! All across the nation! We are going to be a great generation!
What the students of Parkland, Florida were able to organize this past weekend will not be forgotten any time soon. No matter what your opinion is on gun control and what level of change our country needs, it’s hard to not be inspired by the youth who came out to speak across the country. In particular, Emma González has become a household name.
If you haven’t seen Emma’s speech or some of the others from teenagers across the country this Sunday — you really owe it to yourself to watch as many as you can find. Go in with an Open Mind! These citizens may come from a different generation than you, but they love the same country that you do.
Emma’s powerful moment of silence in Washington DC this Sunday will be forever remembered — the chilling amount of time representing how long the gunman haunted her high school in Parkland, Florida. The coverage has already put her moment in the spotlight:
Vox: Emma Gonzalez’s incredible moment of silence at March for Our Lives
NYTimes: What Emma González Said Without Words at the March for Our Lives Rally
Time: Emma González Kept America in Stunned Silence to Show How Quickly 17 People Died at Parkland
Across the country, students came out with signs supporting Emma.
“EMMA GONZALEZ: WOMAN OF THE YEAR!”
“I STAND WITH EMMA”
“EMMA GONZALEZ FOR PRESIDENT!”
Check out these Google trends to really see Emma’s impressive reach:
Before you dismiss March for Our Lives and the #NeverAgain movement that these teenagers are driving — take a look at the recent opinion poll from Fox News. Seems that Americans have been keeping an open mind!
Crooked Media’s Jon Lovett has recently called for the Voting Age to be lowered to 16, after the impressive and inspiring actions taken by teenagers from Parkland, Florida over these past weeks in response to the tragedy they faced in their high school.
In his piece Lovett makes it clear why he believes these young people need to be armed with the right to vote:
In our actions, in our failures, America is sending a message to teenagers: this country doesn’t give a shit about you. Teenagers deserve the vote because the rest of us have proven that we are not adult enough to have their interests at heart. The NRA is right about the importance of self-defense, but wrong about the means. Voting is how America’s young people can protect themselves.
For those who think that this is an impossible idea — let’s not forget our US History. Rachel Maddow recent highlighted the moment in July 1971 when young people met with President Nixon as the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 thanks to activism from young people.
Watch the clip from the Rachel Maddow show here from MSNBC: https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/young-activists-wanted-to-lower-the-voting-age-and-made-it-happen-1165383747550?v=b
President Nixon commented that “America’s young generation will provide what America needs.” Maybe that’s true again today — as Lovett suggest.
If you Love It — Read Lovett’s full post about this idea from Crooked: https://crooked.com/article/lower-voting-age-sixteen/
Change can come from any where — and any age. Two high school students in Fort Collins, Colorado decided that they were not waiting to become victims to speak out against how they doesn’t feel safe at school — or in their local movie theater. Poudre High School seniors Nina Shelanski and Asha Olick were interviewed by the Coloradoan for their work honoring victims of this month’s tragic Parkland shooting and advocating for change.
In addition to raising awareness, Nina and Asha collected signatures and messages to show support. The banner that students signed during lunch is being sent to Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“You all deserved so much better.”
“I hope we get this problem under control.”
“We need more than ‘thoughts and prayers.'”
“Change will happen. This shouldn’t have happened.”
Nina’s message is clear: “What I’m trying to do is motivate people to become more involved.” It’s exciting to see the activation of open minded young people across the country who want to advocate for change that they believe will make them safer. If you are reading this and wish that somebody at your high school would advocate for change — choose to be that person.
Click through to the Coloradoan to watch her interview and read all of the quotes from both Nina & Asha: https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2018/02/21/poudre-high-school-students-honor-florida-school-shooting-victims-but-ask-me-next/358919002/
In response to the Parkland shooting, Comedian Michael Ian Black has called called for us to reexamine (or maybe examine for the first time) what it means to be a boy and be a man in America. He thinks that our failure to properly define masculinity is key to the violence episodes that our country has been suffering.
The topics that Michael raises in his article do run very deep and will take a while to unpack. American masculinity certainly needs a broader language to expand it’s narrow focus, and certainly we need to help empower all Americans to positively discuss gender dysphoria despite this toxicity. Many children in America feel misaligned with expectations that are placed on them — and Michael is right that we need to help them understand that they can be comfortable embracing their emotions.
And so the man who feels lost but wishes to preserve his fully masculine self has only two choices: withdrawal or rage. We’ve seen what withdrawal and rage have the potential to do. School shootings are only the most public of tragedies. Others, on a smaller scale, take place across the country daily.
The conversation that developed on Twitter was fascinating — already a positive sign that Michael has helped start a new conversation:
And if you are interested in more on this topic, Michael Ian Black later shared a link to a powerful TED Talk delivered by Justin Baldoni.