Two student activists who lived through the deadly attack at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day that left 17 people dead had some choice words for the nation’s leaders and past generations -- during an appearance Friday on HBO’s talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher” -- and what they had to say wasn't pretty.
During the 10-minute interview, teens Cameron Kasky and David Hogg, who are tied to the student group Never Again MSD and have been pushing for better gun control, leveled criticism at a range of individuals from lawmakers in the state capital, Tallahassee, to President Donald Trump.
Hogg told Maher that he’d recently hung up on a call from the White House, during which he said he was asked if he'd be attending the president’s listening session. The call came a day prior to the event, Hogg said, adding that he told them he would not be there.
He also said he found the timing of the phone call “offensive” because funerals were being held the next day, and ended it by telling them: “We don’t need to listen to President Trump. President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation.”
Maher commended the boys, and others from the school, for their eloquence and poise, saying they gave him “faith” about the intelligence of kids today.
Kasky said he thinks that “one of the best things about our generation” was that they didn’t “respect people just because we have to, we don’t respect you just because you have senator in front of your name,” while making a dig at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“We don’t let people steamroll over us,” he continued. “We have voices and we use them. Sometimes unfortunately, sometimes for good.”
And as for the older generations, Kasky made a particularly sharp comment in the interview.
“I mean this sincerely, I really do, to all of the generations before us, we sincerely accept your apology,”’ he said. “And we appreciate that you are willing to let us rebuild the world that you f****d up.”
The 17-year-olds are working on nationwide demonstrations called the “March For Our Lives” to be held on March 24. And Hogg previously suggested a boycott on travel to the Sunshine State, claiming that the conversation with lawmakers in Tallahassee didn’t go far enough and that they wouldn’t discuss assault weapons with them.
“We want Americans to stop being afraid of demanding our politicians to take action,” Kasky said. “They work for us, we don’t work for them. The march is us coming out and saying to our employees, ‘You guys suck at your job.’”
They also said that no one had a right to discredit them or their authority on the highly controversial subject.
“We’ve been locked in a classroom. We have seen our friends text their parents good bye,” Kasky said. “We are the experts. We know exactly what we’re talking about.”
When asked about the longevity of their movement, Hogg replied, “Well, to be quite frank with you, we’re millennials and we love complaining more than any other generation.”