There were crowds.
Aerial footage shows the turnout at various March for Our Lives events across the US today https://t.co/K4g34viFVh pic.twitter.com/Iu8266uwGi
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 24, 2018
There were signs. Here’s one of my favorites:
There were speeches, like the ones from 11 year-old Naomi Wadler,
11-year old Naomi Wadler: “My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school but we know… that we stand in the shadow of the Capitol, and we know that we have 7 short years until we too have the right to vote.” (via CBS) pic.twitter.com/57tmzKBss4
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 24, 2018
Yolanda Renee King,
“I have a dream that enough is enough,” Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, says at #MarchForOurLives. pic.twitter.com/efrj7r0RmD
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 24, 2018
And of course, the 6 minutes and 20 seconds that shook us to our core from Emma Gonzalez.
Emma Gonzalez stayed on stage at the D.C. #MarchForOurLives rally for 6 minutes and 20 seconds – the duration of the Parkland shooting. https://t.co/B7yFTn23Nz pic.twitter.com/jdyYagtZCO
— ABC News (@ABC) March 24, 2018
But now everyone has gone home. What’s next? First of all, there’s these kids that Michael Tallon calls “magic.”
Today has been a day of awakening for me, and I suppose it has been for many of my age-contemporaries, too. As a fifty-one year old man, I don’t cry much, but, wow, have I been a weepy mess all day today watching these magic kids. And that’s the term that keeps coming back to me: These kids are magic.
They somehow don’t seem real. They seem more like fully formed wizards who just popped into existence, as if the shooter who tore through their high school just showed up expecting sheep and found warrior-paladins instead.
But then it makes even less sense, because they aren’t just from Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. They are kids from everywhere. And they keep demanding that the media recognizes that they are from everywhere. These kids, these magic kids, keep saying to the interviewers, GO TALK TO THE OTHER KIDS. GO TALK TO THE BLACK KIDS. GO TALK TO THE POOR KIDS. GO TALK TO THE LATINO KIDS.
Then, as happened time and again today, when the cameras finally turn to the black kids and the Latino kids and the poor kids, THEY talk about other kids.
This isn’t a story about Parkland, Florida and a really smart AP class with great prospects. It’s about a full-on generation shift that caught me, and I’m guessing you, totally by surprise. These magic kids are from EVERYWHERE…
These kids grew up with the native ability to parse the OBVIOUS racism of Trayvon Martin’s murder, of Tamir Rice murder, of Philando Castile’s murder, of African American teenagers in McKinney, Texas getting the shit kicked out of them by police for being in a “white” neighborhood for a pool party. Just two days ago, they watched Stephon Clark get put down by over-amped, trigger-happy police while he was in his grandmother’s backyard. They can see with their own two eyes that our society is grossly unjust — and so when the camera focuses on David Hogg, we shouldn’t be surprised that this smart-dressed white boy says, TALK TO THE CHILDREN OF COLOR, as he did just yesterday in an interview with Axios. We shouldn’t be surprised when he says “Our parents don’t know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to.”
They’ve seen how badly we’ve screwed up a free society for their entire lives and they are, in their own beautiful way, “calling bullshit.”
The kids didn’t magically arise in a fortnight; their whole lives have been calling bullshit.
On the question of what comes next, they’ve already started.
Got it! Everyone should call for a town hall with their representative on April 7th. Your town hall should be 2hrs and start between 8am and 4 pm call your rep today to organize it and if they refuse to show up just invite their opponent. LETS GO!! Visit @townhallproject for help
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 25, 2018
That’s what it will take to create real change. Add your name to be a part of what’s next: https://t.co/2m7ItdfFjV #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/qhuMZzFPDf
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) March 26, 2018
In my local newspaper today, a group called “Listen to the Children” took out a full-page ad addressed to the entire Minnesota congressional delegation asking them each to answer two questions:
1. Would you introduce, cosponsor or vote for legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines for firearms?
2. Would you return any donation you have received from the NRA or any of its affiliates and would you refuse to accept any NRA donations going forward?
They promise to print the answers to these questions in the newspaper next week and warned that not answering will be considered a “no.”
Michael Skolnik nailed it.
Hours after this photo was taken, history was made.
In years to come we’ll teach our kids the speeches of Edna and Emma, Jackie and Yolanda, Zion and David, Cameron and D’Angelo, Ryan and Alex, Sarah and Delaney, Naomi and Christopher.
And when our children tell their story… pic.twitter.com/GYy7uG5ZLN
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) March 26, 2018
When our children tell their story…they’ll tell the story of tonight.