11-year old speaks for African-American women victims of gun violence

Published March 26, 2018, 3:43 PM

by AJ Siytangco

 

By MB Online

African-American women who were victims of gun violence should be valued and not just remain as numbers — this was the message of 11-year-old elementary student Naomi Wadler during the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Wadler, in her speech, acknowledged the stories of promising black women who have perished due to gun violence namely, Courtlin Arrington, Hadiya Pendleton, and Taiyania Thompson.

Naomi Wadler, 11, a student at George Mason Elementary School, who organized a school walkout at her school in Alexandria, Va., after the school shooting in Parkland, Fa., speaks during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon / MANILA BULLETIN)
Naomi Wadler, 11, a student at George Mason Elementary School, who organized a school walkout at her school in Alexandria, Va., after the school shooting in Parkland, Fa., speaks during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Me and my friend Carter led a walkout at our elementary school on [March 14]. We walked out for 18 minutes, adding a minute to honor Courtlin Arrington, an African-American girl who was the victim of gun violence in her school in Alabama, after the Parkland shooting,” the elementary student said in her speech.

“I am here today to represent Courtlin Arrington. I am here today to represent Hadiya Pendleton. I am here today to represent Taiyania Thompson, who at just 16 was shot dead in her home here in Washington, D.C.,” she continued.

Arrington was also a school shooting victim. Just weeks after the Parkland shooting, the 17-year-old was shot in a classroom at Huffman High School. The life of honor student Hadiya Pendleton was taken away a week after she had performed at festivities for then-President Barack Obama, the Chicago Tribune reported. Taiyania Thompson was shot in the head at an apartment a month after she turned sixteen.

A report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention stated that black children are more likely to be victims of gun-related violence, however, their stories are not given much spotlight up to this date, according to Wadler.

“I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper. Whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said.

“I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence. Who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls and full of potential,” she continued.

The young lady also took a hit at those calling her a “tool of some nameless adult.”

“It’s not true. My friends and I might still be 11, and we might still be in elementary school, but we know. We know life isn’t equal for everyone, and we know what is right and wrong. We also know that we stand in the shadow of the Capitol and we know that we have seven short years until we, too, have the right to vote,” she proudly stated.

Wadler urged everyone to help her talk about and spread “stories that aren’t told.”

“If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it,” Wadler stated, quoting Toni Morrison.

“To honor the girls, the women of color, who are murdered at disproportionate rates in this nation. I urge each of you to help me write the narrative for this world and understand, so that these girls and women are never forgotten,” Wadler said in closing.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2494117,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,2874818,2874815,2874812,2874795,2874802,2874799]