Hi there,

Democracy Now is committed to bringing you the stories and perspectives you won't hear anywhere else, from the peace activists demanding an end to war to Indigenous leaders fighting to stop fossil fuel extraction and save the planet. Our independent reporting is only possible because we’re funded by you—not by the weapons manufacturers when we cover war or gun violence, not by the oil, gas, coal, or nuclear companies when we cover the climate crisis. Can you donate $10 today to keep us going strong? Every dollar makes a difference. Right now a generous donor will DOUBLE your donation, making it twice as valuable to Democracy Now! Please do your part today, and thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Naomi Wadler, 11: I Speak for Black Girls Victimized by Guns Whose Stories Don’t Make the Front Page

Web ExclusiveMarch 24, 2018
Listen
Media Options
Listen

Hundreds of thousands rallied for gun control in Washington, D.C., today for the March for Our Lives. The march was organized by survivors of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Speakers included 11-year-old Naomi Wadler of Alexandria, Virginia.

Watch Democracy Now’s full four-hour special broadcast from the March For Our Lives

Related Story

StoryMay 16, 2022Antiracist Scholar Ibram X. Kendi: Republicans Must Address How White Supremacists Target Youth
Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NAOMI WADLER: Hi. My name is Naomi, and I’m 11 years old. Me and my friend Carter led a walkout at our elementary school on the 14th. We walked out—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.

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. 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. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.

It is my privilege to be here today. I am indeed full of privilege. My voice has been heard. I am here to acknowledge their stories, to say they matter, to say their names, because I can, and I was asked to be. For far too long, these names, these black girls and women, have been just numbers. I am here to say “Never again” for those girls, too. I am here to say that everyone should value those girls, too.

People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I am 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.

So I am here today to honor the words of Toni Morrison: “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.” I urge everyone here and everyone who hears my voice to join me in telling the stories that aren’t told, 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. Thank you.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Up Next

Antiracist Scholar Ibram X. Kendi: Republicans Must Address How White Supremacists Target Youth

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Top