photo by SIMON MATZINGER
“So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it yet, and for those who will never speak again. We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and this happening again.” EMMA GONZALEZ
We rise every morning anticipating a great day filled with joy, happiness and safety in our daily endeavors. We hug our loved ones as they go out the door about their day’s agenda. We expect to see them later, don’t we?
We know life has no guarantees, but we trust in goodness and mercy. Emma Gonzalez chatted with friends before classes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas not knowing that there were a few whom she would never again see alive. Shots rang out, young people were murdered and Emma’s life was changed forever.
One would think that fellow Americans would rally around the survivors who, on that morning in Parkland, witnessed life’s hell. That’s who we are, isn’t it? Many good people responded with open arms and words of consolation. One would think that a nation in mourning over the losses in this tragedy and so many prior school shootings would come to terms with its obsession for weapons and violence. One would think that, wouldn’t they? So, what happened? No, seriously, what has happened? Emma and many of her protesting friends were ridiculed and name-called. Some were mailed death threats. Congress debated, state governments passed band-aid laws to placate their constituents and then the next school shooting devastated more families and communities.
It seems like years ago, but the Parkland shooting happened just last year on February 14th. We saw the rally in Washington, D.C., we were amazed by the crowds and dignitaries attending and marching. We said that this event will surely change the minds of politicians and effective gun legislation will be enacted. Seriously? What happened?
In her new release, Madonna gives a shoutout to Emma Gonzalez incorporating parts of her speech in the lyrics. Please take a few minutes to listen and reflect not only on the events of that horrific day, but also what we have become as a people.
May 03, 2019 · Madonna, in a statement shortly after the release, revealed that she wrote “I Rise” as a way of giving a voice to all marginalized people who feel they don’t have the opportunity to speak their minds. She added that as 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of pride, she believed the song will encourage individuals to be themselves, speak their minds and love themselves. MADONNA – “I Rise”
“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 that no laws could have been able to prevent the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred — We call BS…” EMMA GONZALEZ