Amal Clooney is ‘in awe’ of the Parkland students’ courage & activism

Amal Clooney stuns at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Paramount Pictures' 'Suburbicon'

George and Amal Clooney were some of the celebrities who made big donations to the Stoneman Douglas High School kids’ March for Our Lives, the planned March 24th march to end gun violence. The kids have taken the lead and the adults are, for the most part, in awe of how organized they are. I’m in awe of them – they are smart and emotionally resonant and they are doing an incredible job of vocalizing their fear, anger and hope for the future. I’ve heard some people say “it’s going to be terrible for those kids when nothing happens,” but what’s happened is already happening – the kids are changing the conversations and holding power to account. Do you think that’s just going to stop? No, it won’t. Anyway, Amal attended the Watermark Conference for Women in San Jose, CA over the weekend, and she talked about how these kids are incredibly inspiring, saying:

“I am just blown away by these students. I think they are doing an amazing job turning a tragedy into advocacy. It’s only been a week since this happened and I’m in awe of how courageous they are and how effective they are. I would never have had the possession of mind or the courage at 16 years old, let alone having just gone through what they have, to be able to stand face to face with the president, a senator, the NRA, and answer those tough questions. They are the best vehicle and best hope for change. I really hope that they will succeed and make a meaningful difference.”

“George and I just personally wanted to make this contribution [of $500K] and say that we will be there with our family because my children are very lucky to go to school here and I know their lives will literally depend on it. The new generation, the young people, feel empowered to make a change, and frankly, they are the ones who should have the platform. The march we’re attending, it’s their march. They are the ones that are going to be speaking, and if someone tries to tell them what the reality is, their response should be, ‘Well, I was the one hiding in the closet a week ago, so let me tell you how I feel and this is what would make me feel safe.’ Watching them gives me a lot of hope.”

[From E! News]

Immediately following the Stoneman Douglas shooting, there was that same feeling that comes after every mass shooting: a sickness, a disgust with political futility, sadness, compassion for survivors and rage at the new cycle of “thoughts and prayers” which would descend from the GOP. But these kids flipped the script in basically one week. Imagine what they’ll do in a month. Imagine what they’ll do in six months, and on and on. Amal is right – would we have had their courage at the age of 16? Would we have known what to do with that platform? I know I wouldn’t have been able to do what they’re doing. The kids are not alright and it’s because of the adults, so the kids are trying to make it right.

Here are some photos of Amal at this conference:

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty, Backgrid.

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36 Responses to “Amal Clooney is ‘in awe’ of the Parkland students’ courage & activism”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I applaude those kids. I’m not sure if I’d have the same courage as them when I was their age but going through something like that changes you in way few can (thank God) understand. I hope and pray they get something accomplished. ANYTHING is better than the nothing we have right now.

    • Aang says:

      I’m not hopeful things will change. Money is too entrenched in our political system. But I’m prone to cynicism and hold a generally dim view of humans as a group. Hoping I’m wrong in this case.

    • Megan says:

      Hollywood liberals like the Clooneys aren’t helping. These kids need bi-partisan support at the local, state, and federal level if they want to affect real change. When Hollywood gets involved, it immediately becomes a partisan issue and gives Republicans cover not to act.

      • Kate says:

        Republicans did not wait for the Clooneys or any other Hollywood liberals not to act. They have been doing that for the better part of 20 years.

      • MellyMel says:

        “Hollywood liberals” rightfully getting involved (they are Americans, it’s their right) is NOT why the Republicans don’t act. They don’t act because their pockets are getting filled with NRA money and they are too spineless to give it up and make necessary changes. The delusion is real…

      • Izzy says:

        These “Hollywood liberals” have kids who will be attending school in this country, as she said. They have a direct and compelling interest in helping change happen – as she said, their kids’ lives depend on it. My own involvement isn’t because I’m liberal and it isn’t because I have kids (I don’t) – my nephews’ lives depend on it. And the thought of them doing “active shooter drills,” and figuring out how to play dead if someone starts shooting in a room that they’re in, makes me sick to my stomach.

        Those “Hollywood liberals” are equally entitled to advocate for a change they wish to see, particularly when it may involve their own kids. They now have skin in the game, so to speak.

      • Megan says:

        I consulted to a gun control group for years, and their dearest wish was for celebrities to stay out of it because it only increased the divisiveness around the issue. These kids are trying to forge a new path and the adults are doing the same old, same old. If we want change, then we need to change.

  2. Nicole says:

    I applaud these kids but I’m also aware of the privilege here. Like Roxane Gray said on Twitter there was no outpouring of love for the kids fighting for gun control when they were minorities. Or a reminder that no one gives BLM young protestors props for fighting or an assurance that they won’t be penalized for walk outs.
    This isn’t on the kids but the adults that consistently decide who is courageous and worthy of support. I wonder how that message comes across

    • Aoife says:

      One of the main student activists, Emma Gonzalez, is the daughter of a Cuban immigrant. Does she count as “privileged”? Is she a member of a minority?

      • Nicole says:

        I know you’re trying to be a troll to dilute the message but I’m from Florida and not far from this community. It’s overwhelmingly white.
        Thanks for playing though

      • grabbyhands says:

        @Aoife

        Did you really read what she wrote? That she applauds these kids and that it is not on them the privilege involved here?

        These kids are amazing and deserving of support, but the grim reality is that if the shooter had brown skin or a funny sounding last name, he would have been hauled in as soon as the first tip has been called in and he sure as hell wouldn’t have walked away from the massacre like Nicolas Cruz did-he would have been gunned down and written off as a terrorist thug. If he had walked into a poorer school, one that was more minority, do you really think this would be getting this much press or would it be more of “Well, yeah but like, black people shoot each other all the time! Not really anything to be done”.

        You can support these kids and still be frustrated with spectres that haunt the overall conversation.

      • Aoife says:

        I was asking these questions honestly as a non-American, totally unfamiliar with Florida, who doesn’t understand how all these categorizations of minorities, privileged groups, etc. work over there. She was the first person who I saw speak about the issue and from my personal standpoint I didn’t view her as a white, non-minority person. Thanks grabbyhands for your explanation.

      • African Sun says:

        Aoife – Cuban is a nationality – you can be a white Cuban, a mixed Cuban or an Afro-Cuban so again nice try. We don’t know if she identifies as a woman of colour or not.

        Nicole’s point is totally valid because there are no black or brown people at the centre stage of Never Again. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing in terms of what they are fighting for but it’s very disappointing because it shows when it is a black issue such as Trayvon Martin, the mainstream doesn’t care.

      • Nicole says:

        Okay then I apologize. There have been trolls on here who purposefully pretend that racism does not exist and I’m over dealing with it.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, I feel like that is the elephant in the room that hasn’t been addressed. My heart breaks for the children of color whose voices have been dismissed over and over again. But at the same time, I’m supportive of the Parkland students and hope that their voices will help to include everyone affected by gun violence. My sense is that those kids would want that.

      • Nicole says:

        Of course. The message is something only black activists have brought up. Because we are the ones that always has to think about race. Some of them were on the front lines being arrested, gassed and attacked physically and in the press for months (and some for years). Where was the support for them? It sucked because you could hear the pain in some of their tweets.
        But they all said that was on the adults and not the kids

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        If it helps to know this, one of the Parkland students has tweeted something about the murder of Philando Castile (sp), the black teacher shot dead who had a licensed gun in his car. They are fully aware. As long as they are in this position they are using it. Any change they * with our help* can make will help everyone.

      • African Sun says:

        Nicole – I see a correlation between the absence of children of colour in Never Again and Black Panther. It seems like the mainstream likes ‘blackness’ when it comes to entertainment but if it is a real serious issue, the black faces are nowhere to be seen.

        I have not seen any Asian-American teens or African-American teens getting spotlight like these children and I would like to hear their views.

      • Nicole says:

        Agreed @African we all know that to be true. They want us to entertain, shut up and dribble but not bring up that pesky race issue.
        @Who I am happy they’ve brought Philando up and I hope they also bring up John Crawford and Tamir Rice as well. But again these kids are taking on a lot and are young. I’m not expecting them to tackle all facets of the issue.
        My gripe is with the adults. The ones that called BLM young protesters thugs and these kids inspiring. This will never be about the students that are grieving and fighting at the same time.
        But it does hurt

      • Esmom says:

        Nicole, not that it’s any real consolation but the people who call BLM activists thugs are calling the Parkland kids crisis actors and/or Soros puppets. I think those who find them inspiring, like me, find the BLM activists to be just as inspiring.

    • African Sun says:

      Yeah this. Not American but I have CNN International and they have even been on CNN’s International channel which is sent to other countries.

      David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Cameron Kasky – bloody hell I know their names even because of how much they are pushing for the change they believe is right.

      I can’t help but feel that if they were black or brown, no one would care the way they do. It’s sad really

  3. Parigo says:

    Change will be hard, but I feel like the conversation is *finally* different this time. A lot of companies have already taken notice and stopped giving NRA discounts. Maybe they’re just paying lip service to public opinion, but the narrative being driven by these kids is getting noticed. There is less helplessness and more hopefulness.

  4. Digital Unicorn says:

    Those kids are inspiring and great role models but the fight for gun control and safer schools is just beginning. The orange turd and the NRA will flood schools with more guns. But am glad to see the NRA getting some kickback from Corp sponsors. those kids are being heard. The 2nd amendment argument is BS as those kids right to a safe education trumps everything else. The NRA doesn’t care about them.

  5. Maria F. says:

    There will be a lot of first time voters in November and then in 2021, hopefully they get mobilized by this flurry of activity to register to vote and to claim their right at the poll boxes

  6. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    The kids that were close to those involved in this tragedy happen to have the presence of mind to make a stand and go forward. The variables were aligned. In every tragedy, the people most affected have to deal how they must, and nobody can pave their roads for them. To attach outcome barometers on every mass loss, assigning race, politics, religion, etc. is demeaning, hurtful and carries the hate and keeps those flames burning high and hot. I won’t demean suffering by stereotyping media coverage or victim outrage or whatever vicious impulses get dumped on top of true human horrors. I honor and respect and praise anyone and everyone who has the presence of mind to rise and have a voice following anything so demonstratively evil and heartbreaking. Breathing alone was hard enough for me. So for every shooting across this country, those left standing who hold that torch and proclaim their loss and their need for vision, responsibility and action has every ounce of my respect. Apologies, I was reading too many comments on other sites lol.

  7. LittleWing says:

    Over the weekend I read that airlines/hotels/insurance companies are dropping nra member discounts because of these protests. Keep up the pressure!

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. And when people say “I didn’t care about those discounts anyway,” we need to remind them that it’s not really about the discounts, it’s about taking away and semblance of credibility and legitimacy the NRA has.

      • Parigo says:

        Yes, said something about the discounts above. It’s about taking away all credibility from the NRA and shaming any politician/company that takes their money.

  8. African Sun says:

    I think these children are having an interesting run media wise. Because by now most media companies would have moved on.

    I think they are strong but I also think they are young and naive. When you are that young, you think the world bends to your will. You learn later who bends where.

    Never Again needs more teenagers of colour across the board. This is the one element of their movement that I am not rocking with at all.

    • Esmom says:

      I think the movement will grow to be more diverse. And I think it will be supported by other groups to help keep the momentum going. Although I do understand your cynicism, believe me.

  9. browniecakes says:

    Put up voter registration tables where the high schoolers are protesting. Not all are 18 yrs old yet, but at least get them thinking about voting if not signed up. Many thought that if the gunning down of the little children of Sandyhook didn’t change anything, nothing would. Maybe this time.

    • jetlagged says:

      One journalist mentioned that at least one protest/demonstration he went to had voter registration volunteers moving through the crowd. I think this time feels different because the message isn’t just a vague plea to enact stricter gun laws, this time they are calling out and targeting (pardon the expression) the lawmakers who have refused to take action in the past. That is step one, unless and until that happens this effort is doomed to fail just like all the others.

    • Addie says:

      There is unusual confluence at play here: the starkness of the GOP in the pockets of the NRA, Trump an utter disgrace along with anyone in his orbit, a generation on the cusp of actually having a voting voice having witnessed the power of the Women’s March and MeToo. They also have the digital tools to move across any barriers.

      I am hoping that voting registrations increase and that voting-age students and their families will make huge shifts to power in November. I am hoping that the kids receive sound advice to keep up the momentum so that they don’t peter out. I suspect this is what the GOP and NRA think will happen – these pesky kids will all go away. While I agree that celebrities can get in the way, I would not put Amal Clooney in that category; she can offer huge levels of professional advice. As can Oprah in a mentoring role, even at a distance, if asked. I don’t think any of those celebrities are wanting to bask in the kids’ limelight. They have credibility and money and want to show their solidarity in a way that helps in a practical way. Good on them.

      I am a firm believer in having time limits for those serving as people’s representatives. A maximum 2, maybe 3 terms, then back to real life. No corporate donations ever and a running total of donations available daily.

  10. serena says:

    I’m so thankful for this generation, they are informed, awake and everything the previous generation was not.

  11. Jenny says:

    So am I. The only thing that is going to save the U.S. now are its youth. I look at America and I see Rome at its end with all its madness and violence and corruption. The only hope for your country that I see is a revolution among the youth and those with brains enough to realize that allowing free access to firearms among the public is a disaster and there are no sane arguments for that “god-given right”. Allowing big money to rule politics and allowing the top percent to deplete the rest of the population of resources and amassing all the wealth at the top is the beginning of the end of that society. Really, it’s not looking good at all.