We have a winner: Zack Kopplin, who, at 19, is facing down the Texas legislature on teaching “creationism” in science classes. Deeply influenced by the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years and inspired by the Arab Spring, this young, once-painfully-shy kid now has a cause he will not let go:
Zack and his father were met by a friend, a member of the editorial staff at the Baton Rouge Advocate, who asked: “You see that Jindal passed the creationism law?” The creationism law. The one that allowed the teacher — the public-school teacher — to bring creationism, to bring something Kopplin considered so obdurately nonscientific, into the science classroom. Kopplin knew about the law. And he knew the thing would never pass, because this was 2008 and this was the Western world, and, hell, Bobby Jindal’s got a biology degree from Brown University. This thing would never pass.
And then it did. And Jindal signed off on it. Something clicked.
“I have this idea of what’s right and what’s wrong, and in my mind, I just knew it was wrong,” Kopplin recalls. “And it was a really simple thing for me — this is bad, and it needs to be gotten rid of.”