A child is doing more to advance social justice than I have in my entire life.
Jayden is a five-year-old from Kansas City. After her parents told her about the significance of the Equality House – a rainbow-colored structure across the street from the Westoboro Baptist Church compound-o-hate – she decided she had to do something to promote peace and love.
You remember the WBC, right? They are the Topeka based church, famous for their colorful anti-gay protest signs. They’ve made a name for themselves by picketing everybody’s funerals and basically being the worst.
So how does a kid make the world a better place? She opens up a lemonade stand, of course!
Oh man…I can feel my cynical, jaded heart melting. Watch out heart! You’re about to go full thaw. According to the Huffington Post:
So she painted a banner for the event reading, “Pink Lemonade for Peace: $1 Suggested Donation.” She put the stand in the grass and waited. But the waiting didn’t take long. Supporters came in by the droves and $1 turned into hundreds of dollars.
How adorable is that? And awesome. Adorable and awesome. Everything that is good and just in the world is represented by this little girl and lemonade stand.
There is an online fundraising campaign set up through Crowd Rise. As of Monday evening, Jayden has raised over – wait for it – $15,000. Fifteen thousand American dollars. The money will go to Planting Peace, the social justice nonprofit that owns and runs the Equality House.
That’s it. I’m dead. This whole situation is so heartwarming and encouraging that it killed me.
The WBC douche canoes were predictably horrible. As reported at HuffPo:
During the day, Westboro sent representatives outside to try and find a way to stop the event. They apparently attempted to call the local police and stooped to yelling profanities when that didn’t work, like calling a group of soldiers who rode out on their motorcycles to support the event “bastards.”
Remember, Jayden is five years old. She’s a child selling lemonade and fighting injustice. And she’s met with silencing techniques and bullying. Maybe WBC thought their PR couldn’t get any worse, so why not harass a little girl?
If yelling wasn’t enough, they wrote it down, as well. According to the Huffington Post:
On Monday, Westboro members took things to a new low when they posted an anti-gay message on their marquee, reading: “FAGS & ENABLERS ALL BURN IN HELL LEMONADE WON’T COOL ANY TONGUES.”
But haters gonna hate, I guess. Just the death throes of a regressive ideology that won’t go without a fight, but it will go in the end. Jayden should be incredibly proud of herself. It takes courage to stand up to bullies, even with the firmest support. Well done.
Photo courtesy of Equality House