This Teen’s Blistering Spoken Word Performance Calls Out America’s Hypocrisy Around Mass Shootings

“How much longer do we have to deal with this shit?”

Saida Dahir, junior in high school and refugee from Somalia who electrified the crowd with her spoken word performance.Mother Jones/Al Kamalizad

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Seventeen-year-old Saida Dahir’s blistering spoken word performance about her fear of school shootings and the political hypocrisy that follows electrified the crowd at Salt Lake City’s March for Our Lives on Saturday afternoon. A refugee from Somalia and current junior in high school, Dahir tells Mother Jones that she wants to to address intersectionality in the gun safety movement that has spread throughout the country in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, massacre that left 14 students and three adults dead. She tackled everything from the racial bias that shows up in discussions of mass shooters—”If all Muslims are terrorists, what is this white boy?”—to the morally bankrupt political class: “We all know who is Congress’ real benefactor.”

“I’m a black Muslim woman, and I fear for my life when I am at school, and I fear for my life when a cop pulls us over,” she says. As school shootings continue to happen, and as she and her friends worry about what to do if a gunman enters their school, she is left with a question that serves as the opening of her poem: “How much longer do we have to deal with this shit?”

Mother Jones caught up with her after the rally, and she agreed to recite the poem for us again. Watch the video here:

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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