The Young Provide Hope by tristero

The Young Provide Hope 

by tristero

An essay of great beauty and poignancy by Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the NRA-enabled Parkland massacre. Here's the start but please read it all:

I don’t remember exactly when I found out Carmen Schentrup was dead. Carmen and I became friends in middle school. We had science together. I got my period one day and didn’t have a pad, and Carmen gave me one — what a queen. We rode the bus together every day after school. She would vent about her a cappella club, and we would compare the TV shows we were watching. At her birthday parties everyone would eat pizza and watch a movie in the Schentrups’ living room, and then after the movie we would all just talk — about school, politics, life. I still have one of her party invitations taped up on my mirror. 
I found out she was dead on Feb. 15. I think it was the 15th — that’s when The Miami Herald released the names of those who had been killed the day before in the shooting at my high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, in Parkland, Fla. I’d thought she’d only been injured. I remember thinking that very clearly; she has only been injured, don’t worry about her. 
On the 16th, I was asked to speak at a gun control rally by a woman on the school board. For what seemed like the first time, adults were treating me and my peers as though they cared about what we had to say. I started writing my speech and didn’t stop until I got up to the lectern. I gave it my all. All of my words, my thoughts, my energy, every political fact I knew. My mom had “Rachel Maddow” on the TV and was saying: “Pay attention to this! It’s about Chuck Grassley! You should consider putting it in your speech!” and I did. The speech followed a pattern: I had a thought, I wrote a new paragraph, I filled in the gaps, I ranted, and then deleted the rants. I had waves where all I wrote was a kind of scream of consciousness: “How could this have happened? So many people died, so many people died. I can’t do this. How do I do this? How do we do this?” 
My friend Cameron Kasky called after I gave my speech and asked if I wanted to join the movement...
As I said, please read the entire essay. It's heartbreaking and inspiring. And please keep in mind the snotty headline the NY Times assigned to it. Intended to deflate her message, it merely draws attention to the Times's cynicism and shallowness when it comes to real change.