Despite the Parkland students’ insistence on taking a back seat, I was still surprised when Emma González did not speak at the event. Instead, the other Parkland students came out arm in arm, led by a Stoneman Douglas student named Kyrah Simon, and gave an expression of support that rivalled the speeches by will.i.am and Chance the Rapper in its lack of substance. “Everyone from Parkland is so grateful to be here with you tonight,” Simon said. “Our voices and your voices united are stronger than anything else!” When this short speech ended, the audience seemed confused—that was all? Father Pfleger had to hype the crowd as the Parkland visitors left the stage. This was either a magnanimous gesture or a cop-out. What example did it set if the Parkland students, with all of their radical empathy, treated Chicago’s violence as unknowable? The night had been a moving testament by young people trying to overcome a long history of inertia, and the visitors had chosen not to specify their commonalities. These thoughts, however, seemed ungenerous.
June 26, 2018
Launching a National Gun-Control Coalition, the Parkland Teens Meet Chicago’s Young Activists
[I’ve attended many anti-gun events and pro-gun owner events with protestors. I’m always somewhat startled by the the poor quality of their presentation. I keep thinking, “Is this all they’ve got?” Here we have an article in the New Yorker also pointing out “The Emperor has no clothes.”
It’s a start.—Joe]