Watch This Douglas High School Student’s Powerful Speech Calling For Action

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“We call BS”

Everyone has caught onto the dark reality of mass shootings in America by now: When news breaks of a shooting and its consequent victims, there are always "thoughts and prayers" but rarely any action taken to address the issue of gun violence. Then, the cycle seems to repeat itself.

However, the student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that happened this past Wednesday are fed up and have taken to the platforms they know best to speak out against the senseless inaction on the part of the government—namely, politicians who receive funding from the NRA. In the past few days, they've channeled their grief into activism, including one Douglas student, Emma Gonzalez who gave a powerful speech during a gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.

Gonzalez stood at the podium, occasionally wiping tears from her eyes as she addressed President Trump and other members of Congress, calling for them to wake up and take action. Gonzalez referenced one of Trump's tweets in which he wrote, "So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" and responded "We did, time and time again, since he was in middle school," suggesting that Trump's claim not only detracts from the main issue of gun control, but it's also a classic case of victim shaming.

"We know that they are claiming that there are mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this isn't just a mental health issue," Gonzalez said, adding, "He wouldn't have harmed that many students with a knife," before calling to shift the blame from mental illness to lax gun control laws and those who made it possible for the shooter to obtain the gun in the first place.

Gonzalez's speech is moving because it shows how these student survivors are coping with a senseless tragedy that has irrevocably rocked their worlds: By demanding policy and change so it never happens again. "We are going to change the law," Gonzalez said at the rally.

It's all going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members, and most importantly the students: the students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the students who are now suffering from PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil.

Many other Douglas students and Americans all around the country are also responding to the shootings by organizing school walkouts to protest the lack of inaction from Congress. 

The walkouts are set to take place in March 2018.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.