Sunday’s Los Angeles Times initiated a series of articles on the year 1968 “to explain how it still shapes our world.” The big story looks back 50 years at the day “KIDS KICKED THE DOORS OPEN.” On March 5, 1968, students at three Eastside Los Angeles high schools walked out to protest their run-down campuses, lack of college prep courses, and teachers “who were poorly trained, indifferent or racist.” The students all were Mexican American. Their motto was Education, Not Eradication. A week later, 22,000 students had joined the protests and a movement was born. Almost 50 years to the day later, another group of high school students are calling for a walkout–this one nationwide–to protest the murders of students in their classrooms. One of the voices of the 2018 movement is Emma Gonzalez.
Following the killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, the verbal aftermath was what we’ve come to expect. Emma called it what it is: BS. “If all our government and president can do it send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.”
She pointed out a website called shootingtracker.com, “dedicated to reporting these tragedies so that they can be formulated into statistics for your convenience.”
She said that nobody who knew the shooter–and she’s known him since middle school–was surprised. But, she said, “This is not a mental health issue. He would not have killed that many people with a knife.”
Emma Gonzalez is 18. She’s a senior. She identifies a bisexual. She’s president of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. She and her on-the-front-line classmates have gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Tweedledumb, their Florida senators and legislators, and the NRA spokesman. And they’ve called for a national March for our Lives in Washington on the 24th. Thousands of students won’t be able to get to DC so they’ll take to the streets where they live–and where we live. I had believed that my take it the streets days were over but Black Lives Matter young people proved me wrong. Now these even younger people are leading the charge, and I’ll try to keep up.
Andi and Jove–you might want to save a slot for Emma.