Monday, March 26, 2018

Emma Gonzalez, March for Our Lives

Emma Gonz├ílez has been an incomparable voice in the fight against gun violence. Her righteous anger is only matched by her ability to make us feel her deep grief. Despite facing homophobia and the gun lobby, she tirelessly organized around this issue and now has the attention of a nation. When she speaks, we listen, and she amplifies voices that cannot speak out.Today, she spoke at the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C. Her speech was chilling, and you will not be able to stop thinking about it after you see the video. We shouldn’t stop thinking about this issue. Lives are literally at stake, and her speech carried that weight.
“Six minutes and 20 seconds,” she began. That was how long it took for 17 of her classmates and teachers to be killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It only took six minutes because the shooter used an AR-15 assault rifle, a firearm created with the expressed purpose to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. Gonzalez intoned the names of those who were laid to rest, her voice cracking with anguish. “My friend Carmen will never complain to me about piano practice,” she said. The names continued, until suddenly Gonzalez stopped speaking.
She sat in silence. Tears began streaming down her face, but she stood resolute. The crowd occasionally erupted with chants of “never again!” and applause; the camera showed us the faces of marchers who also cried during Gonz├ílez’s silence. It was a painfully poignant moment, the likes of which we’ll remember in the years to come.
Finally, she began speaking again. “Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds,” she said. That’s all the time it took for 17 people to lose their lives. Gonzelez wrapped up her speech by pleading for all us to “fight for your life. Before it’s someone else’s job.” She walked off stage to thunderous cheers.
You can watch the video below.

Call and Response by Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter

During the March for Our Lives Rally (March 24, 2018)

“Will you please repeat these words after me?” Yolanda asked the crowd. “Spread the word, have you heard? All across the nation we are going to be a great generation.”

The Parkland kids keep checking their privilege

Washington (CNN)Ahead of the March for our Lives rally, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg said the media's biggest mistake while covering the school's shooting was "not giving black students a voice."
"My school is about 25 percent black, but the way we're covered doesn't reflect that." Hogg said during an Axios event Friday.
Hogg, one of the core members of the #NeverAgain Movement, hasn't shied away from acknowledging his privilege. In fact, "privilege" came up in many of the speeches at Saturday's march in Washington, D.C.
    While taking the stage again -- this time before hundreds of thousands -- Hogg and other students made sure to include victims of gun violence from across other communities.

    'We share this stage'

    "We recognize that Parkland received more attention because of its affluence," Jaclyn Corin, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, said during her speech. "But we share this stage today and forever with those communities who have always stared down the barrel of a gun." 
    Corin brought Yolanda Renee King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s granddaughter, to the stage as her special surprise guest. 
    MLK Jr.'s granddaughter surprises rally crowd 02:11

    'It's not about race'

    Alex Wind, another Parkland shooting survivor, addressed how gun violence affects everyone in the US.
    "It's not about race. It is not about your sex. It is not about ethnicity. It is not about gender. It is not about how much money you make," he said during his speech. "What it comes down to is life or death."
    Aalayah Eastmond, another Parkland shooting survivor, spoke about how gun violence isn't something new, and must not be overlooked in urban communities.
    "Yes I am a Parkland survivor and an MSD student," she said. "But before this i was a regular black girl and after this I am still black and I am still regular, and I will fight for all of us."

    'I represent African-American women'

    Non-Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students also used their speeches to echo this point.
    Naomi Wadler, an elementary student from Virginia, said she was speaking on behalf of all of the "African-American girls whose stories don't make the front page of every national newspaper."
    "I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence," she said. "Who are simply statistics instead of vibrant beautiful girls full of potential."
    11-year-old: Never again for black girls too 01:02
    The 11-year-old continued: "I'm here to acknowledge their stories. To say they matter. To say their names. Because I can. And I was asked to be. For far too long, these names, these black girls and women, have been just numbers. I'm here to say never again for those girls too."
    Many on Twitter noticed -- and praised -- the Parkland students for sharing their moment in the spotlight with people of color.
    Added another Twitter user: "So glad to see all these black and brown kids given an opportunity to speak up too! Much respect to the Parkland students for using their privilege to give others space to speak and get some spotlight. #Hope #BlackLivesMatter #MarchForOurLives #VoteThemOut2018."

    Thursday, March 15, 2018

    If I Die

    October 11th, 1988:   Photo taken by Bill Dobbs during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
    David Wojnarowicz' at ACT UP’s FDA Action protest .

    March 14th 2018 US Students organize school walk outs across the country against gun violence