It’s been a couple weeks since these badass kids and many others who support them marched for their lives. Which is why I want to say something about it now, so that maybe we won’t wait until more of them are dead to be reminded.
I wasn’t able to march that day, although going to protests has become a hobby of mine in the last year and a half. I was on a bus from Spokane to Seattle trying to map out the decisions I had made to lead to that situation. As we picked up a couple passengers from the Wenatchee jail to take them home to Everett, there were these kids all over the country making so much noise. Making enough noise to make me go “oh shit.” These kids are badass. When I say kids, I mean it. 11-year olds out here giving better speeches than Toast Masters will ever teach you. They have been pushed to the edge and now they are pushing back. I personally think it’s great, if you do not agree with what they are saying that’s fine, this isn’t meant to be divisive, although pretty much all words are divisive right now. I do think that whoever you are or whatever you agree with, you should be well aware of how badass these kids are because they are in control now. Their cute signs that rhyme about how they are going to be able to vote soon are more than cute, that shit is real.
March For Your Life
I was never this badass but in school we always enjoyed the idea of standing up for what was right. Nowhere near the levels of badassery these kids out here are working with but we liked pushing back. My junior and senior year in high school myself and a few friends never stood for the pledge of allegiance (yeah, we started that shit) because not everyone could get married. One full school assembly my entire class sat down during it and they made everyone do it again. The second time half of our class got up, but we didn’t. I know what you are thinking “what was that going to do?” nothing. “That is not a big enough group of people to do anything” sure wasn’t. “That’s disrespectful and I’m sure your teachers hated it” well… that’s debatable. What did happen though was that Washington state, where I am from, passed weed and gay marriage with flying rainbow colors as soon as we could vote. Then the whole country did it as well. So I’m not afraid of the noise these kids are making, I’m surrendering to their cause because a combination of my generation and theirs will be in charge real soon.
The older group of voters and politicians is dying and what is left is my generation, the ever-liberal millennial, these badass kids coming up and the parents who raised both of those groups to be how they are now. Us millennials, we really are lazy but maybe that has just been because we know we have little to offer compared to these little savage hearts. We mean well and we can get on board with stuff very easily.
March For Our Lives
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s not only their ability and willingness to organize and actually stand up against something at a young age but goodness they are fierce. They have had to experience going to a potential war zone everyday of their lives. When I was a kid (wasn’t that long ago, 10-year reunion this year) we had lock down drills, if someone came into the building with a gun we locked down. I was in two actual lockdowns that were from shootings near the school but not at the school and another that ended up being construction noise from nearby. Never once did they tell us what to do if someone ran into the room with a gun and I’m sure it never crossed their minds to explain to us what to do if the person sitting next to us opened fire. Cut to my work with kids only a few years later when once a month we went through each kind of lockdown drill as well as at least 15-minutes of explaining and then answering questions about what to do if someone is in the room with us with a gun, which ways to run and why that would ever happen. Those are the kids that are marching now, the ones who have had to think about that everyday of their education and the ones who will have to think about it everyday for the rest of their lives.
These are the kids that were subjected to the terror of a military grade assault rifle and will now cope with military grade PTSD, forever. We were always told we were safe at school, that was where we could feel protected and part of something, even if we didn’t have that feeling at home. The same place these kids have had to watch their friends get murdered next to them. When these teenagers are saying enough is enough, they mean it. And somehow, after all of this, they are doing it with such grace and class, I’m just in awe.
If you need to know my particular stance on guns, it’s very simple: I don’t get it. To the very base level of it, I don’t understand it. I can’t wrap my head around wanting one because I don’t get the protection piece, the hunting piece, the military piece, it just doesn’t resonate with me to want to have that power or to kill anything. So, I don’t argue about it or think you need to change your opinion, I just literally have very little to contribute to the conversation because I can’t even get there. I’ll play a Big Buck Hunter if asked but that’s about it.
These kids out here asking for compromise, being very understanding and trying to move forward to start a dialogue about what we can do to make this better, not lashing out irrationally. This is the exact moment I stop calling them kids. These people are badass. Far more mature and in tune with what they are doing than anyone else in a public light right now. If you still are confused, I’m talking about the Emma Gonzalez, Sam Fuentes, Naomi Wadler and all the other young activists that stood up at this march and others like it. And all these little badasses that will keep standing up from here on out.
If you haven’t watched their speeches you should, it will make you question what the hell you have been doing your whole life. Sam Fuentes is my hero, she was a victim in the Parkland shooting, sustaining injuries and having shrapnel in her body. She spoke at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. and she performed this badass poem. A fierce poem, literally from someone who was in this shooting and half way through she throws up on stage, comments on it AND THEN FINISHES READING THE POEM. That’s the baddest fucking thing I have ever seen. I forget one word in a joke and give up on it.
In conclusion, no matter how you feel about the situation these kids deserve to be listened to, taken seriously and not forgotten. Most importantly if we don’t do that, it doesn’t really matter… these G.I. Jane, activist prodigy, keep going after vomiting on stage badasses are in control now. We are in the future, I think we have to deal with it.
This is Sam’s Speech, worth checking out.