I’ve been at a loss for words the last few words these past few days. Which, for me, is a strange place to be. I want to write about that racist elf, Jeff Sessions, I want to write about Black Panther and how I can’t wait to see it and it’s disheartening to see white people either fetishizing or saying it’s “too political”. I want to write about the latest indictments and what that means…but I cannot find anything in my heart right now, no snarky, funny take on anything.
All I hear are those gunshots and screams ringing through the classrooms and halls of Stoneman Douglas high school. All I see is the bloodied broken bodies of children, barely beginning their lives, laying on the cold tile floor. I see these brave teens picking up the mantle and publicly calling out grown-ups who have failed them.
Jennifer Ansbach tweeted “I’m not sure why people are so surprised the students are rising up. We’ve been feeding them a steady diet of dystopian literature showing teens leading the charge for years. We have told teen girls they were empowered. What, you thought it was fiction? It was preparation. ” It’s true. They know this story. The adults have led us into a dysfunctional and cruel world and it is up to the teenagers to pick up the fight and put it right. These are the kids who grew up on Hunger Games, on Divergent. And if school shootings are the Hunger Games then Emma Gonzalez is Katniss.
A strange thing happened when I became a mother, I suddenly felt like all children are mine. And so, though she isn’t mine, I worry about Emma Gonzales. Who’s immediately historic speech has placed her front and center in this fight. She is now the face on the poster, the tough young woman on the news, the subject of slander on the internet already. I want to step in and protect her, all of them, from the blaming and trolling. I want to give a verbal kick to those who are grief policing them. They’re not mourning properly. They’re not grieving properly.
This is how they are mourning. This is how they are dealing. This activism and taking on the world is how they are honoring their fallen classmates.
We aren’t home with these children when it is quiet, when the sun goes down. We don’t know how a loud noise may send their pulse racing. How they may have nightmares, or be unable to sleep at all. We don’t know if they are constantly on edge or if at the moment they are numb. We don’t know how they may feel when they are all alone. We don’t know.
What we do know is they are not alone, students all over America agree with them, they don’t want to be slaughtered at school. And they will vote, sooner rather than later. I cannot wait till the entire Stoneman Douglas Survivors succeed in making our world a safer place.
I will listen to those who cry that having their guns taken is more tragic than having their children ripped away violently.
I will be happy to send them my thoughts and prayers.