Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has received global attention over the past year. In recent days, the 16-year-old inspired a worldwide school walkout and delivered a speech at the United Nations. One of her supporters is Halestorm frontwoman Lzzy Hale, who calls Thunberg a “modern day Joan of Arc.”
Thunberg’s speech at the UN’s Climate Action Summit on Monday was met with a polarizing response. Many championed her impassioned words, in which she told world leaders “how dare you” for the lack of action on climate change. However, others criticized her for the anger and emotion she displayed during the speech, with President Trump sarcastically tweeting, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
Lzzy Hale had nothing but praise for Thunberg in an Instagram post comparing the teenager to other prominent young woman who have effected change throughout history. The Halestorm singer wrote:
Our modern day Joan of Arc. @gretathunberg Thank you for your candor, grace, logic and beautiful anger. Wield your sword. You are sitting at a round table of young women who have inspired and shaped humanity. Here’s a few!
In 1960 at the age of 6, Ruby Bridges became the first black student to attend William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. The first-grader faced protests and riots/had to walk to school accompanied by federal marshals. She became an icon in the Civil Rights Movement. A German-born Jewish girl, Anne Frank rose to fame following the publication of the diary she kept while hiding from the Gestapo. After her family was discovered and arrested, Frank died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 at the age of 15. Her father Otto the only surviving family member was moved reading her diary after the war and published it.It has been translated into more than 60 languages. Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani human rights advocate known for her activism in promoting education for girls. In 2012, when she was just 15 years old, a Taliban gunman shot her in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her work. At the age of 17, she received the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest Nobel laureate. Nine months before Rosa Parks’ famous arrest, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin stood up against segregation in Alabama by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery. She was arrested, and a year later was one of the original plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, a case that led the U.S. Supreme Court to declare bus segregation laws in Alabama and Montgomery unconstitutional. In 1963, 9-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks joined thousands of fellow kids and teens in the Children’s Crusade, a nonviolent demonstration in Birmingham to stand against segregation. Hendricks spent a week in jail for her activism. Images from the Children’s Crusade highlighted the violent response from local authorities & caused outrage around the world. And English author Mary Shelley was just 18 years old when she wrote Frankenstein, which many credit as the origin of science fiction! Who run this mother?
Thunberg has also spoken publicly about her diagnosis of Asperger syndrome, calling it a “superpower” instead of a developmental disorder. As far as Trump’s mockery, the teenager used it as a source of empowerment, temporarily changing her Twitter bio to read, “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”
UPDATE: Lzzy Hale has responded to critics who believe Thunberg is being manipulated by her parents and other climate-change leaders. She has commented on her own post, as tweeted below:
I’m aware of the immediate spelling error…but I thought I should shed new light on what is Actually the point here. *In comments on my Instagram. pic.twitter.com/DLX6IhFxngAdvertisement
— Lzzy Hale (@LZZYHALE) September 25, 2019
She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see! https://t.co/1tQG6QcVKO
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019