News AAND Notes: Clapbacks for All

The survivors of the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have developed next-level clapback abilities in the two months since their classmate murdered 17 of their peers and teachers. Sadly, they’ve needed it, because the more reasoned, smart, thoughtful and committed they prove themselves to be, the more unleashed, angry and insane the far-right trolls have become.

So when the school required students to carry clear backpacks as a probably well-intentioned, utterly idiotic and ineffective means of keeping them safe, the kids clapped back HARD. Miami New Times reports that the students began using the backpacks as a platform of sorts to make a point: “They think they’re stupid invasions of privacy that don’t protect anyone,” writes MNT’s Brittany Shamas, or, as one student described it on Twitter, “an illusion of security.” Some put signs in the bags, like, “I donut support these backpacks,” “Ravioli ravioli give us gun control,” and “So when are our clear uniforms coming in?” Others got more creative. The clear winner: The kid who made his into a legit fish tank—complete with live fish. What will those cool cats at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School think of next?

See for yourself on this Insta.

More Than a Pendulum

In a thoughtful editorial, LEO Weekly editor Aaron Yarmuth writes that thecurrent wave of activism and calls for change are far, far more than a pendulum swing. “What’s going on today—The Resistance—is a generational reset,” Yarmuth writes. He believes that the activists taking to the streets today are those who will drive the political parties of tomorrow.

In support of his argument, Yarmuth points out how the Parkland students forced our very own pro-NRA legislature to pass the first gun-control legislation in decades, that the Black Lives Matter movement has gotten body cameras on police officers across the nation, and that teachers in West Virginia spent nine days on strike until they got the raises they sought. Though he acknowledges there are more liberals involved, Yarmuth doesn’t see this as a Democrat-led movement-rather a cross-party shift in dialogue and priorities. And he issues a warning to Democrats who resist the resistance: Get on board or get swept up in the wave. Shades of Ken Kesey, circa 1964, i.e., “You’re either on the bus or off the bus.”

The Sweetest Revenge

Nearly 16 years ago, the nation was gripped by the story of Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old Salt Lake City girl who was kidnapped, held for nine months and finally, dramatically, rescued. Now a wife and mother of two, Smart has released her second book, Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward and Never Giving Up.

In advance of her visit to their city for her book tour, Smart recently chatted with Boise Weeklyabout the book and coming to terms with the horror she experienced. She says that, although her captors “will probably never feel sorry” for kidnapping, raping and chaining her up, she doesn’t need them to be sorry to move on and, in a way, forgive. “I needed to let go of it and move forward,” Smart said. “Forgiveness really is not for the other person.” This wisdom has enabled the girl who lived a nightmare to become a woman living the dream. “I am in fact living my happily ever after.”

Take That, Misogynists

Ah, sexism, that oldest of isms. As if women don’t naturally experience enough literal pains in the vulva (hello, menses and childbirth), we get to experience figurative pains for even having vulvas (hello, gender-based discrimination, rape culture and misogyny). A couple of kick-ass femmes in Cali have come up with the perfect solution to being held back due to misogyny in the music industry: Run our own damn festival.

Oakland’s Women in Music Festival was created in 2017, reports East Bay Express, and this year it’s going to be bigger, better and consistently chick-centric. Founders Evangeline Elder (aka DJ Red Corvette) and Carmena Woodward told EBE they were inspired to create the festival by the hurdles they’ve had to jump because they have vaginas, which has taught them how important it is for gals to support each other. “Women have done more favors for us than men,” Elder said, “And that’s the basis of the festival: You need your girl allies in the music industry.” The Folio Weekly all-female editorial and art departments salute you!