On Saturday, Emma González and her fellow Parkland students led March For Our Lives, a protest pushing for common sense gun reform that brought out 800,000 people in Washinton, D.C. According to USA Today, that makes it “the largest single-day protest in the history of the nation’s capital,” pulling in about 300,000 more supporters than the inaugural Women’s March. And that’s not counting the waves of Americans who marched across the nation, in cities like Boston, Houston, Minneapolis, New York City, and an array of small towns.
For her part, González gave an incredible speech that went viral, and pointed out the shockingly brief length of the Parkland shooting that took 17 lives.
As part of Teen Vogue’s coverage of March For Our Lives, they posted a video of González tearing up a target.
"We, the youth of the United States, have built a new movement to denounce gun violence and call for safety in all of our communities. This is only the beginning." @Emma4Change pens a searing op-ed on this generation's plans to make change: https://t.co/MV34GJgrdI #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/FWTpOD1WKL— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) March 23, 2018
In no time, a photoshopped image began to spread that made it seem she had torn in half the Constitution.
I'm interested to hear what US citizens think of this photo where Emma Gonzalez is ripping up The Constitution? pic.twitter.com/B5HTNKuRqV— LΞIGH (@LeighStewy) March 24, 2018
Also, look at the caption of @LeighStewy. It absolutely suggests that she believes this “photo” is legit. When someone called her out on it being a fraud, her response was abject intellectual dishonesty.
There’s also a gif which was shared by Adam Baldwin, who played Jayne on Firefly and then dedicated himself to making us wish he hadn’t.
Teen Vogue writer Phillip Picardi shared a thread debunking the photoshop fraud, and made some important and disturbing points about what it says about where we are now.
The fact that we even have to clarify this is proof of how democracy continues to be fractured by people who manipulate and fabricate the truth. pic.twitter.com/cpSXnvLxdA— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) March 25, 2018
The attacks being lobbied against Emma follow the all-too-familiar patterns: she’s an opinionated woman, she’s Latinx, she is queer. Some say those are strikes already against her when confronting the establishment. pic.twitter.com/O55uzh4qkk— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) March 25, 2018
Just like they’ve smeared protesters during the Movement for Black Lives, as they’ve ridiculed Muslim women, and denied the identities of trans activists, they’ll employ their typical tactics here. But as yesterday’s numbers showed, they won’t win. pic.twitter.com/wQoJdbxW2I— Phillip Picardi (@pfpicardi) March 25, 2018
How these teens are being treated by gun advocates is juvenile and horrid. I’m sure there will be those who point out the left was calling people Nazis over rallies, but that’s because those rallies were racist AF and featured actual Neo-Nazis. What Baldwin and his ilk are doing is internet hyperbole, where one jumps to a Hitler comparison to show their passion (and their ass, 99% of the time).
Teen Vogue has the receipts, and yet there will be many who will talk about González ripping up the Constitution as if it’s fact, as if it’s not blatant propaganda to discredit teen activists who are putting themselves on the front lines against the NRA. But forget those people. They are hopeless and outnumbered. Remember the massive amount who turned out in support of González, Hogg, and their fellow survivors. On Saturday, those people turned out in numbers so big that it’s still being counted. And we will be counted. We will be heard.