Oprah Winfrey praises Parkland survivors, compares efforts to civil rights movement
'These young people get to be literally warriors of the light,' the TV icon said
While on the press tour for her upcoming film A Wrinkle in Time, Oprah Winfrey weighed in on the gun-control activism of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivors and had nothing but good things to say, referring to students’ efforts as a “proud moment” in the nation’s history.
“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,” Winfrey told the Associated Press on Saturday. “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.’”
Winfrey made the comments in an interview with her Wrinkle costars Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling beside her. Witherspoon, notably, has also commented on the Parkland tragedy and the need for action to be taken. “So many innocent lives gone, in a second…while they were in their school, where they are supposed to be safe,” she wrote last week on Instagram. “We ALL have to work harder to find common sense solutions for the safety of the children in our country and the world. Enough is enough.”
Speaking to the AP, Winfrey further addressed the significance of the Parkland students’ activism. “These young people get to be literally warriors of the light,” she said. “That’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to — through their voices, through the March For Our Lives — say, ‘We will not let this happen again. We are going to do what we can to banish the darkness.’”
The March For Our Lives has been planned by students around the country, in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. Policies being advocated for include making it more difficult to legally buy guns and taking military-grade weapons out of civilian life. For the main march set to take place in Washington, D.C., on March 24, Winfrey donated $500,000, matching a contribution by George and Amal Clooney.