things that matter

Survivor Of Florida School Shooting Emma Gonzalez Is Turning Her Anger Into Political Activism

In the wake of the horrifying school shooting in Parkland, Fla., the ongoing gun control debate has intensified. But the loudest voice in the political conversation isn’t President Donald Trump, lawmakers or the National Rifle Association. It’s Emma Gonzalez, an 18-year-old survivor and senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

On Saturday, Gonzalez joined an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, where she delivered an impassioned speech demanding change, calling politicos out on their inaction and declaring that young people will rectify a massive problem Washington seems incapable of doing.

“We are going to be the last mass shooting,” Gonzalez said outside of the Broward County Federal Courthouse. “That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook, and it’s all going to be due to the tireless efforts of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most importantly the students.”

The Latina teen, who was sitting on the floor in an auditorium when the shooting began, comforting classmates before first responders came to their aid, criticized Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott for doing little more than sending “thoughts and prayers” to the families of victims of gun violence.

“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see,” an enraged Gonzalez said while reading her speech from the back of her AP Government notes.

The survivor also stressed that if politicians really wanted to send their condolences they would cut ties with supporters like the NRA.

“Thirty million dollars,” she exclaimed, noting the amount of money Trump has received from the NRA. “And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump? If you don’t do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.”

Gonzalez, whose voice thundered louder throughout her speech, leaving audiences with goosebumps, went on to declare the responses to armed violence from gun advocates as bullshit.

“They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS,” González yelled, starting a call-and-response from the crowd. “They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”

Teen survivors have been vocal on social media, urging lawmakers to change legislation. Students have taken to the street, staging walkouts in protest of gun violence. And on March 24, young people will take to Washington, where they will march for gun control.

“If you agree,” Gonzalez said at the end of her speech, “register to vote. Contact your local congresspeople. Give them a piece of your mind.”

Read: These Salvadoreñas Prove Why Donald Trump’s Remarks About Immigrants And MS-13 Are All Wrong

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

fierce

Remembering Latina Civil Rights Leaders On César Chávez Day

American labor leader and civil rights activist César Chávezhas become a major historical icon for the Latino community. Streets, parks, and schools have been named after him, a film about his life garnered international acclaim and every year on March 31, millions across the country celebrate César Chávez Day.

While Chávez did so much to secure right for our community, it’s important to remember hat Latina activists also had a huge hand in changing the course of our history.

Here’s a look at seven of some of history’s most powerful Latina activists who led marches and fought for your civil rights.

Sylvia Mendez

the.daily.feminist / Instagram

When it comes to the desegregation of schools in the country, American history often credits the case of Brown v. Board of Education for the changes. Barbara Rose Johns is also the one who is most typically considered to be the face of that movement after she led a 450-student walkout at a high school in Virginia in 1951. But history has largely written out the work of Sylvia Mendez an American civil rights activists of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent who played a key role in the integration movement back in 1946. Mendez v. Westminster was a case sparked by Mendez’s rejection from an all-white school in California back in 1943 when she was just eight years old. Mendez’s parents sued the school district and the landmark case which was ultimately settled in 1947 successfully desegregated public schools in California making it the first U.S. state to do so.

Dolores Huerta

@thewipinc / Instagram

As a fierce civil rights activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta became a tireless advocate of the United Farm Workers union. The American-born Latina of Mexican descent originally started out her career as an elementary school teacher. After seeing kids in her class come to school hungry and in need of new shoes, she decided she would help organize their parents. She started to fight for economic improvements for Latino farm workers and pressed local government organizations to improve barrio conditions. In 1962, she co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (now known as the United Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee) with César Chávez. Her non-violent strikes and protests led to her 22 arrests. In 1997 she was named one of the three most important women of the year in by Ms. magazine.

Carmen Perez

Noam Galai/WireImage

In 2017, Perez helped lead the country in its largest protest in U.S. history as a co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. In her 20 year career as an activist, Perez has dedicated her advocacy to some of today’s most important civil rights issues including violence against women, mass incarceration, gender inequality and community policing. Before the Women’s March she helped launch a 9-day 250-mile march from New York City to Washington, DC called March2Justice which implored congressional lawmakers to turn their attention to the nation’s police justice crisis.

Berta Cáceres

univisionplaneta / Instagram

Best known for leading a campaign that opposed a dam on the Gualcarque River, Cáceres was an award-winning Indigenous environmental activist. In 2015, the Honduran environmentalist received the Goldman Environmental Prize for helming the grassroots effort that pushed the world’s largest dam builder to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. Because of her efforts the river that was saved and considered to be sacred by the Lenca people, was still able to provide the nearby tribe access to water, food, and medicine. On March 3, 2016, Berta Cáceres was assassinated for her activism when two assailants broke into her home and shot her. Her murder sparked international outrage and brought attention to the fact that Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world for activists who fight to protect forests and rivers.

The Mirabal Sisters

lorpop3 / Instagram

Patria, Dedé, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal were four sisters from the Dominican Republic who ferociously opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo and became known as Las Mariposas. In 1959, after witnessing a = massacre executed by the Trujillo regime the sisters were sparked into activism and rallied communities into public protests that renounced Trujillo’s rule. Three of the sisters, Minerva, María Teresa, and Patria, were murdered for their advocacy when they were beaten to death by associates of the government. Following the death of Las Mariposas, Dominicans across the island decided they had had enough. Six months later, Trujillo’s dictatorship was brought down when he was assassinated.

Sylvia Rivera 

luz_0602 / Instagram

Well before activists like Harvey Milk and figures like Caitlyn Jenner made waves, there was Sylvia Rivera. The Latina born and raised in New York City had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan roots and a tragic story when she first began to carve out a place for trans people in the American gay liberation movement. Rivera was a self-identified drag queen and transwoman who participated in the Stonewall riots of 1969 and soon after founded Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Marsha P. Johnson. In 1970 she led trans activists in the country’s first Gay Pride march, then known as Christopher Street Liberation Day March and in the years after she delivered fervent speeches that called for the support of LGBTQ people of color and who were homeless.


Read: Here’s How To Prepare For The ‘March For Our Lives’ Event Happening This Weekend

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

When This Man At Walmart Told A Latina To Leave The US, She Told Him “This Is My Country, Too”

fierce

When This Man At Walmart Told A Latina To Leave The US, She Told Him “This Is My Country, Too”

Another day, another Latina’s shopping experience ending in Donald Trump-inspired xenophobia.

On Friday, while Dulce Nereyda, her daughter and mother were looking for baby shower gifts at an Arizona Walmart, they were interrupted by a bearded white man who didn’t like that she and her mom were speaking to each other in Spanish.

The Mexican-American woman, who didn’t get the entire encounter on camera, shared what she was able to record from the frightening verbal assault on Facebook.

“This ⬇️ man starts yelling, ‘I can’t wait until Trump does away with you all!’ I was like, ‘Excuse me.’ He yelled ‘Leave, just leave. YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!’ All because I was speaking Spanish to my mom,” she wrote of the unnamed man.

Dulce was stunned by the sudden display of racism and was unsure what to do. After seeing her daughter’s face, she felt like she couldn’t remain quiet, pulling out her phone to record the man harassing her and reminding him that she, too, belonged in the country.

So it really F*** happened ????????!!! As my Beautiful mommi, JORDAN, and I are shopping for Beto Ramos baby shower tomorrow at Walmart on Huntington. This ⬇️ man starts yelling " I can't wait until Trump does away with you all!" I was like excuse me. He yelled "Leave just leave YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!" All because I was speaking Spanish to my mom. I was so caught off guard that I didn't even know what to do. I always thought what would I ever do if that happened to me or my mom and it did. I felt scared at first and then I saw the look on my baby girls face ????????????. So if you know me I couldn't just leave it like that. I WANT TO EXPOSE THIS MAN FOR THE RACIST HE IS! And I assured my little Queen that this is her home and WE DO BELONG HERE????????????????!!!

Posted by Dulce Nereyda on Friday, March 15, 2019

“So do you want to tell me to get out again? Because this is my country, too,” she said as the camera faced the man.

While the man initially ignored her, it didn’t take long for him to continue with his bigoted, pro-Trump rant, saying, “I wish you guys would leave, and I can’t wait till we build the wall.”  

Making no indication that she had any intentions on leaving her country, Dulce once more asserted that she is American and that English is not the official language of the United States.

She says she posted the encounter on Facebook to both expose the man for the “racist he is” and also send an important message to her daughter.

“I assured my little queen that this is her home and we do belong,” she said.

Read: Study: While Whites Are Responsible For Most Air Pollution, Latinxs And Blacks Are The Most Negatively Impacted

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *