Wednesday 23 January 2019

Oprah praises shooting survivors as 'warriors of the light'

Donation: Oprah Winfrey. Photo: Getty Images
Donation: Oprah Winfrey. Photo: Getty Images

Nicole Evatt

Oprah Winfrey has nothing but praise for the Florida school shooting survivors who have channelled angst into activism, calling them "warriors of the light" and comparing them to civil rights pioneers.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Winfrey drew parallels between the teens and the Freedom Riders of the 1960s, who rode buses into southern states in protest at racial segregation.

Winfrey called the Parkland students' protests for gun control "a proud moment".

"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 said.

"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 spoke while promoting the upcoming film 'A Wrinkle in Time', directed by Ava DuVernay and featuring her, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. The film is adapted from Madeleine L'Engle's science-fiction fantasy novel.

"These young people get to be literally warriors of the light. 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 former talk show host last week matched a $500,000 (€407,000) donation by George and Amal Clooney to the students' planned marches, including one on March 24 in Washington.

The February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead sparked calls for walkouts, sit-ins and other actions on school campuses.

Winfrey also again reacted to US President Donald Trump's tweeting about her in which he called her "very insecure".

"Nobody wants to be hate-tweeted, especially by the president," said Winfrey.

Irish Independent

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