Oprah Winfrey came out in strong support of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors in a new interview with The Associated Press.
The teenagers have been actively pushing for gun reform after a man entered their school and shot seventeen people dead with an AR-15 style rifle that he legally purchased. The students have shown an inspiring level of courage and leadership, and so far it seems like they might succeed where others have failed and finally bring down the NRA.
Winfrey called the Stoneman Douglas students “warriors of the light” who are actively working to “banish the darkness.” The interview was related to her upcoming film A Wrinkle In Time, which tells the story of young children confronting interplanetary forces of evil.
She went on to compare the students to Civil Rights activists.
“It’s an evolving moment for our country. The same thing happened, as you know, back in the ’50s and ’60s for the civil rights movement. Young people said, ‘We will not tolerate what our ancestors have tolerated. We have had enough and we’re willing to fight for it and willing to march in the streets for it and, if necessary, die for it.’” said Winfrey.
It’s not the first time Winfrey has made the comparison. Last week, she announced that she would be donating $500,000 to the March For Our Live event, which is a planned rally to help end school shootings that the Stoneman Douglas students have been spearheading.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) February 20, 2018
Recently, President Trump attacked Winfrey on Twitter because of rumors that she might launch a 2020 presidential bid. He called her “insecure,” a laughable insult coming from a man infamous for his thin skin. The tweet shows how intimidated he is by Winfrey.
Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2018
Winfrey addressed the tweet during the AP interview.
“Nobody wants to be hate-tweeted, especially by the president. So it’s not a comfortable thing I think for anybody on social media who’s had somebody say something about you that you didn’t feel was true. But I believe that you meet any kind of negativity in your life, that you meet it with light,” said Winfrey.
While it seems unlikely that Winfrey will actually run for president, the country is lucky to have her speaking out right now. She’s demonstrating a kind of leadership that is so sorely lacking in our national discourse. Winfrey’s powerful voice strengthens us as a country, and hopefully, she continues to freely speaker her mind.
The Stoneman Douglas students need all the allies they can get now that the NRA and right-wing media are vilifying them and even sending them death threats. It will be an uphill battle, but with these students leading the way and people like Oprah supporting them, real change is possible.