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The Kids Are Alright

I have two daughters. One is 19 and a sophomore in college. One is 16 and a sophomore in high school. Both of them marched in Washington DC yesterday. They were 3 blocks away from each other, kept apart by how many hundreds of thousands of other kids. Yet still, they bonded. Sisters. Marching for their lives. And the lives of their generation.

When I tried to tell them how proud I was….my oldest, said “you don’t have to praise a fish for swimming.”

So there.

I’ll never stop learning from them.

My youngest told me that at one point her and her friends wanted to move closer towards the speakers. The adults in the crowd all parted like the red-sea, allowing them to pass over and over again, saying “we’re here for you today…..we’re here for you kids….go on….get closer.”

She told me this story when she got home last night. Excitement practically bounced in her eyes. I think she realized right then how powerful her generation is, and will continue to be. It was tangible now….she stood in the middle of it…feeling its peaceful energy.

These kids are direct descendants of the ghosts sitting at that Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter….and the marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge…..and the Memphis sanitation workers. They refuse to accept that their lives don’t matter. They instantly spot hypocrisy, and stomp all over it.

Anybody who thinks these kids aren’t gonna be marching to their respective ballot boxes when they’re old enough is deluded.

Sure, they’ll surely look to adults for guidance and leadership, but if the adults aren’t up to the job, these kids are gonna cut the line.

march-for-our-lives-emma-gonzalez-3-gty-jt-180324_hpMain_16x9_1600Where to start about what happened yesterday? The haters are out in full force today, but that’s to be expected. They’re loud, but do not mistake decibels for numbers. Silence does not equal acquiescence. Anybody who thinks this didn’t see Emma Gonzalez’s extraordinary call to action yesterday, putting herself on the line using only grief, tears and 6 minutes of bated breath

Hate is vastly outnumbered. Lashing out is all they’ve got left. So to those spending your day thumb-typing vitriol at grief-stricken children, please go fuck yourself with something pointy.

But I digress.

One of the Parkland massacre survivors was so overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment that she vomited during her speech. Samantha Fuentes regained her composure, shouted that “I just threw-up on national television, and it feels great!”, and soldiered on. You wanna tell me that kids like this are gonna be cowed by Twitter-bots, inane Facebook comments, and the fucking NRA? Bitch, please.

They watched their friends die. Face to face. Saw it. Smelled it. They’re woke. And they’ll never sleep again.

And so now they’re organized. They speak with one voice. They are growing more media-savvy by the day, out of necessity. And the walls of power are shuddering. Oh to be a fly on the wall inside the NRA PR war-room these days. “From my cold dead hands” is gonna lose its sting when the congressmen and senators they own are voted out of office by the kids they ruthlessly belittle. When blood-bribes aren’t accepted in the forest and the tree falls, does anybody hear the money falling to the ground?

(Be advised that the President of the United States ran to his Florida playhouse this weekend, and though he found the time to proclaim today “Greek Independence Day”, and bragged about how many lawyers are lining up to defend him against charges of Putin-fellatio, he has yet to address the million kids who marched past his DC residence calling shenanigans.)

I’m an old white dude. By default I’m cynical and pretty miserable most of the time. But I’ve always considered myself woke.

But my senses are in overdrive now. They’re tingling, Because of these kids.

And you know what? Maybe us parents are doing a better job than we think. Because each child marching yesterday learned the empathy they showed yesterday. From a Mom maybe? Or a Dad? They’re not as they are frequently portrayed. Self-absorbed. Narcissistic.

No, that’s not them.

That’s the adults.

The Kids Are Alright.

In a bit..

–tf

 

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