Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman of the Crowd Counting Consortium estimate that over 1.25 million Americans joined the March for Our Lives in 521 locations (and 27 internationally) with around 471,000 in Washington, DC. The march was one of the biggest in US history—the Women’s Marches of 2017 and 2018 were bigger.
Michel Tallon, age 52, observes that the Parkland students and their Gen Z “tribe” at first glance seems like “fully formed wizards” but then explains that they have lived with the threat of terrorism, mass shootings, and active shooter drills all their lives like growing up in a war. They’ve seen flawed racist and sexist adults who’ve allowed the planet to be polluted and inequality to increase. They were criticized as overly sensitive snowflakes who want safe spaces and trigger warnings and overly politically correct people who warn of white privilege and non-binary sexuality. Tallon predicts that Gen Z will always be “multiracial, non-binary, non-dogmatic, digitally native omnivorously curious,” as well as bigger than previous generations. But their lack of respect for adults motivates them to take action adults won’t take. As student David Hogg said, “Or parents don’t know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to.” He added, “It’ is truly saddening to see how many of you have lost faith in America because we certainly haven’t and we are never going to. You might as well stop now because we are going to outlive you.”
Michael Tallon, “These Magic Kids,” Medium, March 25, 2018.
Michael Tallon, “These Magic Kids,” Medium, March 25, 2018
They somehow don’t seem real. They seem more like fully formed wizards who just popped into existence, as if the shooter who tore through their high school just showed up expecting sheep and found warrior-paladins instead.
But then it makes even less sense, because they aren’t just from Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. They are kids from everywhere. And they keep demanding that the media recognizes that they are from everywhere. These kids, these magic kids, keep saying to the interviewers, GO TALK TO THE OTHER KIDS. GO TALK TO THE BLACK KIDS. GO TALK TO THE POOR KIDS. GO TALK TO THE LATINO KIDS.
Then, as happened time and again today, when the cameras finally turn to the black kids and the Latino kids and the poor kids, THEY talk about other kids.
This isn’t a story about Parkland, Florida and a really smart AP class with great prospects. It’s about a full-on generation shift that caught me, and I’m guessing you, totally by surprise. These magic kids are from EVERYWHERE. more online….
3-19-18It has been three months since fearless 17-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi was detained by Israeli security forces
Tamimi was held by soldiers after social media footage emerged of her slapping and kicking Israeli troops. The teenager responded after a 15-year-old relative was shot in the head with a rubber bullet discharged by soldiers.
Less than two weeks ago, president of the Palestinian Federation of Peru remarked that “human rights do not have borders, political banners or colors,” reinforcing his call for the release of the teen.
Amnesty International has also urged the government of Israel to respect the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, which implicitly says the “arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”
Israel, a party to the convention, has ignored the plea of the human rights body.
Multiple leaders and rights groups from around the world have repeatedly made requests for the release of the teen, but Israel has ignored those calls.
Tamimi, who hails from Nabi Saleh was arrested on Dec. 19 and is being held at the Ofer prison near Ramallah. She is currently on trial.
The Palestinian teen is known to have participated in numerous marches and demonstrations over the years with members of her family, staring at a young age, to protest Israeli occupation.
There are currently about 350 Palestinian children and adolescents in prison, according to Amnesty International Director Marina Navarro.”
Can Generation Z Save Us?
The Parkland, Florida, high school activists are outspoken in their accusations that adults have f—ed things up, leaving it to them—they use the word “children,” to clean up the mess. They’re generating more movement on gun control than grownups thought possible in the face of the NRA’s influence on how its five million members vote. The NRA spent about $57 million in campaigns in 2016. Youth in our area are stepping up to the plate, organizing local marches in concert with national events. We can join them in the March for Life next Saturday, 11 am, starting in the Chico plaza. The high school speakers are guaranteed to be smart, articulate, and well-informed.
Why are they so brave? After researching global youth activism for over a decade, reported on in various books, I learned that they’re the best-educated generation in global history. They know how to think for themselves and know how to access information. The widespread use of cellphones with cameras expands access to information and makes it difficult to hide abuses. This generation is better informed about global problems and those who are responsible for them. Motivated by a sense of justice and human rights, young activists draw strength and information from international support groups on social media. Many have Internet “friends” from around the world. Young people grew up identifying with rebelious heroes in Disney movies like the Lion King and best-selling books like those about Harry Potter and Hermione Granger who cleverly challenge the powerful bad guys. Do you agree that most children’s cartoons include nonconformists and often aggressive characters or at least problem solvers like Dora the Explorer or Doc McStuffins?
It’s obvious that youth are our future, but few adults respect young people enough to find out where we’re headed under their leadership, as discussed in my book Ageism in Youth Studies. What makes young people today different from older generations–in addition to their comfort with diversity in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age–is their courage, education, and access to the Internet. Hopefully they will be able to clean up our messes.