I am incredibly impressed with, proud of and inspired by what the student survivors of the Parkland shooting have been able to do in such a short period of time, and all while attending the many funerals of their classmates and teachers.
Today at 10 AM local time, in the protest organized by EMPOWER, the youth arm of the Women’s March, students across the country protesting gun violence, walked out of their classrooms for 17 minutes. I am so proud of the students who stood up for what they believed in today, especially those who walked out of their classrooms alone.
But I have to say some of the treatment the Parkland student activists have received hurts my heart. One of these students admitted she learned how to protest from Black Black Lives Matter protesters. These students staged a “lie-in,” when Black Lives Matter protesters do them, they’re called “die-ins,” in D.C. I saw a picture of a young white student protesting today who had her palms raised facing the camera. “Don’t” was written on one palm and “shoot” was written on the other, i.e. “Hands up, don’t shoot,” one of the activist chants of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The actions of the Parkland activists have been met with a CNN townhall, celebrity donations, including a donation from Gucci, and praise from news media outlets. The same actions by Black Black Lives Matter protesters were met with tear gas, riot gear, arrests, hatred, ridicule and accusations of “reverse racism,” which, by the way, is NOT a thing. To make the disparity even more glaring, a Black student who protested today in Chicago was arrested for allegedly “blocking traffic.” She was released and no charges were filed.
To the Parkland students’ credit, they met with and brought attention to young Black activists in Chicago who have been protesting gun violence for years. I am in no way blaming them for the disparity in treatment of Black and white protesters. It just hurts to be reminded that in America, white supremacy is inextricably linked to everything, even activism.
2 thoughts on “#NationalWalkOutDay”
A very astute observation! In MLK’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, he definitely alludes to the particular power of the “White moderate.”
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Thank you and thanks for reading, Nichole!
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