Tags: oprah winfrey | parkland school shooting | student activists | civil rights icons

Oprah: Parkland School Activists Remind Her of Civil Rights Icons

Oprah: Parkland School Activists Remind Her of Civil Rights Icons
Oprah Winfrey speaks at the White House Summit on the United State of Women in June 2016. (Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 12 March 2018 09:41 AM

Oprah Winfrey says Parkland school shooting student activists remind her of civil rights icons of the 1960s, which is inspiring her to give $500,000 to their upcoming March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

The entertainment mogul appeared on CNN's "The Van Jones Show," which aired Sunday night. Winfrey told Jones she was impressed with the confidence and bravery of the student shooting survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for speaking out for gun control.

Numerous students have spoken out about the need for stronger gun laws after the Feb. 14 shooting rampage at their school that left 17 people dead and 17 injured, and in which former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported.

In response to the shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week signed into law sweeping changes to school safety and gun access, including raising the minimum age to buy rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21, extending a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases to include long guns, and banning bump stocks that allow guns to mimic fully automatic fire, the Sun Sentinel said.

"My grandfather took in people from the Freedom Riders in Mississippi and risked his whole family and home," Winfrey said on the show, referring to civil rights activists who were attacked while trying to desegregate public bus transportation in 1961.

"Because if people found out that he was keeping the Freedom Riders in his house? You know, he would have been gone," Winfrey said.

Winfrey also mentioned U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia – who was part of the Freedom Riders and was attacked during a civil rights march on Alabama's Edmund Pettis Bridge in 1965 – as an example of when young people got involved to change laws.

She said she encouraged young people to think long term in their efforts on gun control, per CNN.

"You can't just go out there and march," Winfrey said, pointing to how Rosa Park's arrest in Montgomery, Alabama after refusing to give up her seat on a city bus led to the year-long Montgomery boycott in 1955. "There has to be a very clear intention behind what you're doing and why you're doing it."

Time magazine reported that March for our Lives organizers have raised more than $3 million for the demonstration on March 24, which has now expanded to New York City and Los Angeles. Thousands are expected to join Stoneman Douglas students at the D.C. march calling for strong gun control measures

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Oprah Winfrey says Parkland school shooting student activists remind her of civil rights icons of the 1960s, which is inspiring her to give $500,000 to their upcoming March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
oprah winfrey, parkland school shooting, student activists, civil rights icons
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2018-41-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 09:41 AM
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