Last month, after enraging his fans by celebrating his “dragon energy” kinship with President Donald Trump, hip-hop superstar Kanye West attempted to balance his political output on Twitter by expressing that Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and a gun-control activist, was his “hero” and that the young activist “inspired” him.
Emma González didn’t exactly return the gesture, which is no surprise given Kanye’s recent pro-Trump tweets. In response to the rap artist’s overture, she tweeted a picture of James Shaw Jr., the young man who wrestled a rifle away from a gunman who opened fire on a Waffle House in Tennessee. González said Shaw was her hero.
Today, the two young survivors of shootings met and posed for a picture that almost capsized Twitter, as fans of the Parkland activists were thrilled to see Shaw grouped together with the kids who have made a lot of noise about enacting gun-control.
I met one of my heros today@Emma4Changepic.twitter.com/EQZYERiRGE
— James Shaw Jr. (@JamesShawJr9) May 12, 2018
Shaw chose to caption the tweet by calling González his hero, placing a neat capstone on the entire dialogue between West, González, and Shaw, effectively kicking the rap artist to the curb.
When the media began to cover James Shaw, he didn’t appear to make any political statements. Even when CNN’s Van Jones brought up the fact that the president had yet to reach out to the young “Waffle House Hero,” James demurred, politely saying that he was sure the president had a “busy schedule” and that it was not his place to “judge” the president.
“I did what I did,” Shaw said, “and I didn’t really do it for recognition.”
But if the recent photo is any indication, Shaw may be getting more involved in politics. González wasn’t the only member of the Parkland activists he met with on Saturday; he posted a group photo with several of them, suggesting the rendezvous may have been less than coincidental.