380-second silence: the speech of a survivor from school shooting, Emma González

Emma González – a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student becoming known for “calling BS”- as one of the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement and the survivor from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, got onstage at March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on Saturday and stood silence. “Six minutes and 20 seconds,” she began. “In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us. 15 were injured. And everyone—absolutely, everyone—in the Douglas community was forever altered.”

In the shooting which happened in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month, 17 innocent students died. The surviving students launched March for Our Lives for appealing for gun control and drawing public attention on gun abuse problem. The 9-year-old granddaughter of the human rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr, Yolanda Renee King, also attended and told the March for Our Lives crowd: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough.”

Jennifer Hudson, left, center, hugs Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after performing “The Times They Are A Changin'” during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Yolanda Renee King, grand daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., left, accompanied by Jaclyn Corin, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and one of the organizers of the rally, right, speaks during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

After only 18-year old Emma González read out the names of 17 killed students, she kept silent until the timer rang. That meant it had been 6 minutes and 20 seconds after she stood on the stage, equaling the time that the murderer took to shoot 17 students. At times, the crowd of thousands cheered her name and chanted, “Never again,” calling for action to end gun violence. In the end of the speech, She yelled to the crowd: ”Fight for your life, Before it’s someone else’s job.”

“If I wasn’t so open about who I was I never would’ve been able to do this,” once Emma González said. As a Cuban American, Emma González has publicized her sexual orientation of being bisexual, and occupied the president of Gay-Straight Alliance in her school for 3 years. In addition to sexual orientation, she also fought for her skinhead by herself. Facing the discouragement from family, she had to make slides to convince her parents of the permission that she could shave her head for the hot weather of Florida. She indicated that long hair brought burden to her neck leading to a headache, also pointed out the benefits of saving shampoo as a bald head. From those tiny things in daily life, we can see Emma González has multi-views of her thoughts.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, front the left, Emma Gonzalez, Alex Wind, and Matt Deitsch participate in a panel discussion about guns, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, in Cambridge, Mass. The Feb. 14, 2018 attack in Florida killed 17 people, 14 of them students. The students have become vocal advocates for stricter gun laws. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Although she knows herself well, Emma González said that she is being too indecisive sometimes to even pick her favorite color. Despite her mature talk, don’t forget that she is only 18, and also enjoys watching Netflix just like other teenagers. She should have had a careless youth; however, she has to stand out for herself, for people, which is much more complicated and heavier than her hair.


Emma González’s full speech on March for Our Lives: