An interview with Madison Kimrey, the incredibly well spoken twelve year-old activist who's taking on Governor Pat McCrory in North Carolina.
Madison Kimrey is a 12-year old girl from Burlington, North Carolina. She’s learning to ride a horse, she loves shopping with her mom, this interview had to wait until after Halloween and she recently appeared on MSNBC with Melissa Harris Perry and Al Sharpton. Yes, MSNBC. Madison Kimrey is also a fiery and passionate political activist in a state being run into the ground by its governor, Pat McCrory. The same Pat McCrory who was forced to scale back an estimated $230,000 in repairs to bathrooms at the governor’s mansion because of negative press.
Allow me to introduce future president Madison Kimrey:
A lot of people on both sides of the political arena have called you a “prop,” and questioned your motives because of your age. What do you say to people who think you are being used by the left?
I want to remind them that I’m raising awareness on the issue of pre-registration to help kids on the right, too. The majority of teens here in NC who pre-registered did that as independents. That means these teenagers are sending a message they want to consider all the candidates and positions on the issues before they make a choice on who to vote for. That’s responsible citizenship. One of the points I’ve seen made in favor of pre-registration is that having more young people registered to vote will mean candidates will be more inclined to target young voters and will have to keep them in mind when developing their platforms. Considering that we are going to be the ones running the country someday, I think this is a good thing.
How did you become a part of Moral Mondays?
When I went to my very first Moral Monday, I was really surprised. There were so many people there and they were representing so many different issues. It was like a rock concert for ideas. I can promise you that not all of those thousands of people agreed on all the issues, but they still came together in the name of creating a state with a government that works for everyone. That’s the best thing about Moral Mondays for me. I like just being there and being just one of those people. I tend to find the most quiet place I can when I go and just watch and listen.
Tell Quiet Mike readers a little about your issues with North Carolina governor Pat McCrory.
Governor McCrory seems to be out of touch with the fact he represents not just the people he agrees with, but all the people of North Carolina. While I disagree with him on many issues, there are things I’ve read about that we actually agree on. This is why I wanted to meet with him. I thought if we could sit down together and have a respectful conversation, it would show our respective “sides” exactly what democracy is supposed to look like.
When he went on that radio show and said, “This is all very liberal groups using children as I think, um, props, to push a very far left agenda,” that was disappointing to me. It wasn’t particularly hurtful to me personally, but it was disappointing to hear the leader of our state sending this message to young people. I think any elected representative should be sending a message to the young citizens that encourages them to pay attention and take action, not a message that dismisses them and belittles their voices.
You are featured in a short film, “Little Red Riding Hood,” that tells the story of Trayvon Martin from a very different perspective. Was it difficult to portray a young girl whose life ends so similarly to Trayvon’s?
When I first read the script, I was very excited about it. I had followed the Trayvon story and was really honored to be a part of a film that made people think. Then I started thinking about the parts of myself I could bring to this character. That part of it was difficult because I knew that had the story happened the way it was shown in the film, people would have had a much different reaction to the events. We still live in a world where people view issues differently based on race no matter how much we may want to deny that.
If Governor McCrory ever responds to your request for a meeting, what are a few questions you’d like him to answer?
How do your friends at school feel about your activism? Are they supportive?
Do you have any interest in ever running for public office?
Who are your heroes?
I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if it weren’t for Mark Sandlin. He’s a writer and a pastor. He’s a founder of The Christian Left and when I first started my petition, they were one of the first groups that helped me spread the word about it. My parents are Christians, but I don’t identify as a Christian. Mark’s message is inclusive of everyone and is about people working together to bring about positive change regardless of how their spiritual beliefs may differ. I have hometown heroes too. Walter Boyd is involved in community theater with me. He gets involved in some way in just about every local show, whether it be acting, promoting, or helping out behind the scenes. He’s especially encouraging to young actors. Really, it’s ordinary people who are out there making a difference that are the real heroes in my opinion.
Madison Kimrey is a powerful voice, not only for youth in North Carolina, but for people all over this country. She’s no prop, she’s a normal kid who saw injustice and decided to stand up and fight. Thank you Madison, for answering these questions and for showing young people they have a voice and they can use it.
Follow her Blog: http://functionalhumanbeing.blogspot.com/