A Republican representative’s campaign has attacked one of the Parkland shooting survivors online over her Cuban heritage.
Emma González, 18, took to the stage at Saturday’s March for Our Lives to mark the death of her 17 classmates and teachers who were gunned down in the fatal shooting in February.
Gonzalez’s six-and-a-half minute speech brought the crowd to tears as she thanked the people who came out to call for gun control.
But Rep. Steve King’s campaign chose to mock the teenager, who was wearing a Cuban flag, over her Cuban heritage.
Rep. Steve King’s (pictured) campaign chose to mock the teenager, who was wearing a Cuban flag, over her Cuban heritage
‘This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self defense,’ the campaign wrote in a post, over a photo of the teen.
The post sparked fury on social media where people hit out at the campaign for bullying the teen.
‘Are you SERIOUSLY mocking a school shooting survivor for her ethnic identity?!’ wrote Brandon Wolf, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
‘When it was my community, where were you? When it was Sandy Hook? Columbine? Were you on the sideline mocking those communities too? Did you question someone identifying as a mother? Did you question whether people like me were crisis actors?
Emma González, 18, took to the stage at Saturday’s March for Our Lives to mark the death of her 17 classmates and teachers who were gunned down in the fatal shooting in February
Gonzalez’s six-and-a-half minute speech brought the crowd to tears as she thanked the people who came out to call for gun control
‘Emma stood for 6 mins and 20 seconds to honor the lives of 17 gone too soon,’ Wolf added. ‘The least you could do is shut your privileged, ineffective trap for 6 seconds to hear someone else’s perspective.’
King’s campaign hit back, claiming they weren’t picking on the teen, but were ‘calling attention to the truth.’
‘Pointing out the irony of someone wearing the flag of a communist country while simultaneously calling for gun control isn’t ‘picking’ on anyone.
‘It’s calling attention to the truth, but we understand that lefties find that offensive,’ they wrote.
González, whose father migrated to New York from Cuba in 1968, has become one of the most recognizable faces of the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors.
But the teen has become a target for the right as she calls for gun control in the wake of the tragedy.
Recently, NRA enthusiasts have been accused of photoshopping the Teen Vogue cover that features Gonzalez to show her tearing up a copy of the Constitution.
She is actually tearing up a paper target on the cover of the magazine, while her fellow classmates stand in solidarity behind her.
A fake image of Gonzalez ripping up the Constitution circulated on social media. The real video shows her tearing up target paper
Emma Gonzalez, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who survived the Parkland shooting on February 14, rips up target paper for Teen Vogue cover
Teen Vogue tweeted the cover of their March issue featuring some of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Teen Vogue tweeted the cover with with the caption: ‘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.’
The cover attracted a lot of attention from Trump followers and NRA supporters alike.
Many were quick to condemn and attack the high school students on Twitter with one person writing: ‘Look at these little oppressors. I hope my daughter never lives in the world they imagine.’
The cover attracted a lot of attention from Trump followers and NRA supporters
Many people in the Twittersphere were quick to condemn and attack the high school students
Many were unimpressed with Gonzalez ripping the paper and looking angry
However there were some people in support of the children. ‘I’m glad for the first time in human history people are against murder,’ the twitter user said
Many were unimpressed with Gonzalez ripping the paper with one man sarcastically tweeting: ‘Oh no. You tore up a target. Wherever will we find more…paper?’ while another user wrote: ‘Let the children lead us…into ripping a target in half and scowling.’
However there were some people in support of the children. ‘I’m glad for the first time in human history people are against murder,’ the twitter user said.
Saturday’s rally in Washington DC to fight gun control marked the biggest youth protest since Vietnam.
Hundreds of thousands of people turned out for the DC event, with 800 more events being held across world.
The rally, which was organized by the survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, saw 175,000 people protest in New York.
30,000 were counted in Atlanta and Pittsburgh and 15,000 people attended a rally in Parkland, Florida – where 17 high school students were killed last month.
The movement had a global outreach, with die-ins being held in Berlin and London and marches taking place in Sydney, Mumbai, Tokyo, and Paris as well.
Despite the rally’s across the US on Saturday to protest gun control, many people were still against the high school children
Some social media users blamed the youngsters, claiming they were puppets being used by politicians and seniors
Twitter users condemned the children for their lack of intelligence
The gun control debate continues to rage on both sides with people still arguing it’s infringing on their Second Amendment rights
People were very outspoken on Twitter against the high school students
Gonzalez was one of the lead speakers on Saturday. She stood silent on stage for six minutes and 20 seconds – the same amount of time it took Nikolas Cruz, 19, to kill 17 or her classmates and injure 15 others with an AR-15 that he had obtained legally.
She took the crowd by surprise with her uncomfortable silence, prompting the crowd to cheer support and chant ‘Never again,’ as it seemed they thought she had lost her words due to emotion. Then a time went off, and she spoke.
‘Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest,’ she said when she began to speak again.
People didn’t take the Teen Vogue cover seriously and tweeted sarcastic remarks
A lot of Twitter users weren’t interested in listening to the young high school students
‘Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job,’ she said, ending her time of silence.
Gonzalez, who has been an outspoken voice among the Parkland survivors, used the minutes of silence to punctuate an an already moving speech.
‘Six minutes and 20 seconds… In a little over six minutes, 17 of our friends were taken, 15 were injured and everyone, absolutely everyone, in the Douglas community was forever altered,’ she said.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez (center) listens with other students during the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC on Saturday
Gonzalez was pictured with fellow protesters and classmates at the Washington DC rally
‘Everyone who was there understands. who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands. For us, long, tearful chaotic hours in the scorching afternoon sun were spent not knowing.
‘No one understood the extent of what had happened. No one could believe that there were bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day.
‘No one knew that the people who were missing had stopped breathing long before any of us even knew that a code red had been called. No one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this would reach or where this would go.’
She went on to honor some of the lives lost on that day, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Univision reported. Emma was born in the United States. As Univision wrote, González does not speak Spanish, ‘but her voice reveals the heritage of the communicative passion of mixed Hispanics with oratory skills perfected at school.’
become a prominent face of the student-led movement against gun violence since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And she has not been shy about explaining her various identities.
‘My Name is Emma González. I’m 18 years old, Cuban and bisexual,’ she wrote in an essay in Harper’s Bazaar last month. ‘But none of this matters anymore. What matters is that the majority of American people have become complacent in a senseless injustice that occurs all around them.’
Her father migrated to New York from Cuba in 1968, Univision reported. Emma was born in the United States. As Univision wrote, González does not speak Spanish, ‘but her voice reveals the heritage of the communicative passion of mixed Hispanics with oratory skills perfected at school.’
Conservative critics made other attempts to discredit González over the weekend, most prominently through a fake, viral photo of the teenager tearing the U.S. Constitution in half. The doctored image and animation was lifted from a Teen Vogue story about teenage activists. In the real image, González is ripping apart a gun-range target.
Earlier this month, a Republican candidate for the Maine state House, Leslie Gibson, described González as a ‘skinhead lesbian,’ referencing her short buzz-cut.
‘There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,’ Gibson wrote in a tweet, which was later deleted.
Gibson, who was running unopposed for Maine’s house, so outraged other politicians that two entered the race to oppose him. Gibson then quit as a candidate.
In her Harper’s Bazaar essay, González addressed the adults who have criticized the Parkland student activists, writing that ‘if you have ever felt what it’s like to deal with all of this, you would know we aren’t doing this for attention.
‘If these funerals were for your friends, you would know this grief is real, not paid for,’ she said. ‘We are children who are being expected to act like adults, while the adults are proving themselves to behave like children.’
The Des Moines Register, in an editorial the day before the Parkland shootings, called on Iowa Republicans to oust King in the 2018 Republican primary, calling him ‘one of the least effective members of Congress’ who ‘thrives’ on ‘outlandish’ and ‘incendiary observations.’
King is known for making inflammatory remarks about immigrants. In April of last year, he posted a photo of a beer on Twitter, offering a toast to immigration authorities for deporting a dreamer.
A month earlier he commended nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders with a tweet saying ‘we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.’ He had previously celebrated Wilders, stating that ‘cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.’
And in 2012, he compared vetting immigrants to picking out a hunting dog.
‘You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest,’ he said at a town hall, ‘not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.’