Back in 2015, I realised one of the things I wanted to dedicate my life to was helping young people become more politically involved and politically aware. I felt there was a massive, untapped civic resource which had long been abandoned by mainstream politics, prompting the young to abandon politics in return.
That was three years ago, and I’ve done remarkably little to realize that goal. So, when I sit here and read about the absolutely fucking extraordinary work that Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and everybody else who helped to organize the March For Our Lives in Washington – and across the globe – yesterday, I am so ridiculously pleased.
There is power in the images being broadcast to the planet, of young people taking charge, assuming control of destiny – their own, and that of America. Rather than wait around for adults to pass gun control laws and to work toward changing the infected culture of their country, they have decided that enough is enough. Their thoughts and prayers are neither valid nor desired. They will take charge. They will lead.
And lead they have done. March For Our Lives was the biggest student-led protest in U.S. history. In Washington, 850,000 people are estimated to have been there, with millions of others all over the world. The cultural upheaval which led to the election of Donald Trump is being met with equally strong, unmitigated anger by the opposing side of America – those who refuse to accept the politics of Trump as their new political norm. We just didn’t expect the counter-revolution to arrive so soon.
When these times are entrenched in the annals of history, it will be noted that change – quite literally – came from the bottom up. After years and years of dismissing young people as being too dumb, too distracted, too arrogant, too everything to be politically engaged, it will be noted that, in the end, one of the most seismic changes in American, and perhaps western, history was kickstarted by a group of high schoolers. By children. Children who are going to kick every corrupt, NRA-seduced Republican senator and representative out of office in November 2018.
You are making the change which so many young people have wanted to see for so long. Thank you.
Image via Time