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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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:

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate