Children, obey our parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And, fathers, dyo not provoke your children to anger… Ephesian 6:1-4a
March 24, 2018definately goes down in history as the day children, some as young as 9 and 11 years old, took the microphone, spoke, and literary took control of the narrative. The subject was gun violence in schools in America, was strong warnings to political leaders who fail to amend gun laws due to their fear of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The March for Our Lives, organized by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and teachers dead, was held in 800 different places with the main event in Washington D.C. For two days, the voices coming out of the march, were the headline news in all major news outlets.
This is the third mass mobilization movement rallying against the establishment:
The first was Black lives matter where African Americans and well wishers took to the streets after there was an escalation of black people shot and killed by police escalated in recent years.
Then the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 entered history as the largest protest march since the 1965 Viet Nam and the 1960 Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” protest marches. The Women’s March was staged in washing DC to protest the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency who defeated Hillary Clinton. The women’s march was replicated throughout many parts of the world, drawing large numbers of protesters.
And now enter the children, whose protest against gun violence, comes in the wake of escalation of mass shooting in schools, but also more specifically the Parkland Florida school shooting that led to 17 students and teachers being killed by a former student who used an AR-15 assault rifle.
On Wednesday February 14, 2018, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in an Uber at 2:19 p.m. and “began shooting at students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds.”
In the aftermath of this, the high school students hit the mainstream media airwaves, stormed social media with their outrage and what just happened last weekend where only the teenagers were allowed on stage to speak, with some speakers as young as 11 and 9 years old.
The marchers were joined by many groups of people and organizations and they included parents, teachers, health practitioners, entertainment industry and others. The protesters sang chant on anti-NRA (the National Rifle Association, which is the largest pro-gun lobby group).
The march for our lives, as the march was titled, took overs the news narrative for the entire day. This left many onlookers wondering: would the student be comfortable, having had their say, to return to the classroom, pass school and graduate and move on with their lives?
Absolutely not! The march for our lives, like the women’s march and the black lives matter have evolved into bigger than just grabbing the microphone and changing the news narrative for the day. It is more than that.
At the outset, the march for our lives here to stay. The teary face of Emma Gonzalez, 11-year old Naomi Wadler (and her famous “I am here today…” speech) and many of the other organizers are a permanent feature of the narrative in the media, in the offices, on the way to work, on public transport everywhere.
And one would hope that it will be the narrative where it is needed most: in the Congress, per chance, per hope for them to enact laws that protect the lives of school children and teachers and staff; protect the lives of people in public places where mass schools indiscriminately open fire at innocent people.
All throughout the march for our lives march, protesters made calls to the US Congress to speedily pass laws that reforms current gun laws. From the children, their message is “enough is enough.”
African American people said it in the black lives matter movement; the women said in the women’s march and now the children are saying it.
It is a humbling thing when your child tells you “I don’t like…” the narrative in the march for our lives also rang “we don’t like being shot at.” There was also the message “protect children not guns,” “More books, not bullets.” My favorite was “I should be writing my college essay, not my will.”
The march for our lives was the third large major mass protest. It had voter registration volunteer, assisting young people and also people that were not interested in voting, to register to vote in the next elections; and bringing home the threat, “we will vote you out.”
I see the road to game change on the horizon.
I see different people in the House of Representatives; I see youngers in the Congress. And guess what?
“Honey, the kids are in control. They have some mamas and some black and some yellow folks.”
Well, tell me what democracy looks like? This is what democracy looks like!!
But a message to the NRA from Africa, we should not see the guns you will no longer be able to sell to the children, then find their way to Africa.
American kids have spoken, they don’t want indiscriminate selling of guns, African does not want truckloads of those guns.
Long live genuine democracy!