Letter from Kari Anne Holt

Dear students everywhere,

Your anger gives me hope.

Your readiness to burn it all down; your fiery rage that these tragedies are allowed to happen over and over over again; your quivering, livid faces as you call out the gutless lawmakers that pride money over lives… your fury is my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Maybe I shouldn’t fan the flames, and maybe I shouldn’t embrace the red hot emotions we’re all feeling right now. Maybe I should encourage you to be diplomatic as you drink hot coffee around large tables, grateful to be invited to the discussion. But also? If you want to fling that cup of coffee into the face of anyone who has chosen cash over your friends’ lives, I wouldn’t scold you. If you want to scream until your voices create the tornado that tears down the status quo sky we’ve all been living under, I won’t cower.

Your anger feeds us.
Your anger fuels us.
Your anger unifies us.

When you take your seat at the shiny tables, when you sip the coffee in front of you, when your visitor’s badge reflects the fluorescent lighting of the room, when the old men and the well-coiffed men and less-well-coiffed men and the seemingly compassionate women sip their coffee alongside you and smile their wolfish smiles as they attempt to placate you with their sorrow and their excuses…

Maintain your rage. Share your sorrow. Keep demanding action. And if they offer only simpering words and patronizing burbles? I know your anger will propel you forward.

You know what happens after fire and fury burns it all down?
A phoenix rises from the ashes.
A new day is born.

This is what you will accomplish.
This is what gives me hope.

You’re already making a difference.
The flames can be seen for miles.

Yours in solidarity,

Kari Anne Holt
author, poet, mother, voter

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