As thousands across the nation prepare to take to the streets on March 24, 2018, for The March for Our Lives, we’re taking a look at some of the root causes, long-lasting effects, and approaches to solving the gun violence epidemic in America. We’ll have a new installment every day this week.
Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Cameron Kasky have been just a few of the numerous Parkland students leading what’s been called the #Enough or #NeverAgain movement for gun reform.
In the midst of unimaginable tragedy, these teens have been unapologetically outspoken about the collective American failure to implement safe, commonsense gun laws that a majority of Americans now believe in.
These are just a few examples of thousands of active black teens working on gun reform over the years. Though many of these protests have been successful and meaningful, many have criticized the youth for their protest strategy.
It’s imperative that we not just recognize young black activists, but that we also appreciate their efforts being equally as important and invaluable as those of non-black kids.
The Parkland kids should be supported. They’ve done remarkable work that warrants the celebrity outreach they’ve received. And they’ve certainly gotten their share of criticism from the NRA and the internet.
But there are unequivocal double standards in the response to activism from young, non-black students compared with the activism of young black kids that are fighting for similar changes. In comparison, Parkland activists were quickly taken seriously and supported financially.
George and Amal, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am joining forces with you and will match your $500,000 donation to ‘March For Our Lives.’ These inspiring young people remind me of the Freedom Riders of the 60s who also said we’ve had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard.
so amazed at the highschool students who have been bravely outspoken in past couple of days. using their raw anger & grief in profound ways to bring overdue change for our country. they deserve our utmost respect/attention/& help. (🙏🏼EMMA, you are incredible) https://t.co/xzy6iunByj
As innumerable white men continue to barrel the black-on-black crime narrative on social media and Reddit threads as an excuse to not listen to black protesters, black kids have been in the streets, on the internet, and in government buildings advocating for change in their schools and communities.
Often seen in society as older and less innocent than their white counterparts, black teens face stigma and implicit bias when protesting, which negatively impacts clear, intended goals.
For the record: the movement for Black lives (inclusive of all the various national & local orgs & grassroots movements) was accused of not having clear policy initiatives. It does. It did. It always has. 1/
Gosh. This is amazing. And a I’m not being sarcastic. I have to be honest and say that I’m a bit taken aback (and a bit hurt) that those of us who were in the streets in the past five years for Black lives didn’t receive this type of reception or public support. https://t.co/HLYXTcVdfL
Critics often have even conflated the Black Lives Matter movement with violence when, in fact, most Black Lives Matter organizations center their missions around reducing violence. Black teens have organized rallies, spoken with politicians, and confronted the NRA in an effort to get guns out of dangerous hands and particularly out of communities where they’ve been especially destructive.
Instead of praise, many of the teens and young black people active in protesting injustice were shut down, ignored, or, worse, persecuted.
19-yr-old Josh Williams is currently in prison serving out his 8-yr sentence for his role as a youth leader during the Ferguson Uprising. I love how much the nation is rallying behind the Parkland teens. I wish the nation had and would also rally behind youth like Josh. #FreeJosh
When we financially support organizations that mobilize to decrease violence in communities, call out racist statements on social media made in response to black kids calling out injustice, and praise black kids just as much as other youth when they protest, strategize, and organize, we can create a system that supports the values of all people.