Monday, February 26, 2018

Don't Forget About the Black Lives Matter Teens

[TRIGGER WARNING: REFERENCE TO MASS SHOOTINGS AND POLICE BRUTALITY]

I've already gushed about how much I love the teens from Parkland, Florida and others across the country who are organizing to demand gun control. However, black people have rightfully come forward to point out that black teens have been trying to do the same thing for years and were largely ignored or demonized? And remember the mass Black Lives Matter protests that were totally demonized by the mainstream media and chided by the government?

Part of this was, of course, because the BLM movement was against the police shooting people. But also, it was easier to demonize their protests and call them "riots" because BLM protests are always met by an intense police presence in which the police inevitably instigate violence. Because racism. Pretty much all of it is racism.

But it's not just Black Lives Matter. Black teens, who are disproportionately impacted by all kinds of gun violence, have been fighting for better protection from guns for years.

This is what Lincoln Anthony Blades has to say about it:

Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years

In response to Winfrey's tweet, Charlene Carruthers, the national director at Black Youth Project 100, an activist organization focused on "creating justice and freedom for all Black people," tweeted, "Gosh. This is amazing. And 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." 
Her point was expounded upon by others, who explained that young black people have been fighting to save lives through gun reform laws for years without the support and energy given to the Stoneman Douglas students. In fact, black youth, who've been passionately advocating for gun control measures, have been demonized, obfuscated, and overlooked.

Definitely go the original article because it's full of helpful links backing up his point. And it goes on to explain that black people have been fighting for gun control for decades as it has continued to terrorize their communities. Of course, without the support of white people, who were more willing to point to "black on black crime" every time a cop killed a black person than listen for a second, the NRA has taken more and more control of our politicians.

It's great that this movement of teens, which of course includes black teens, is leading a movement that might actually do what we adults have utterly failed to do. But it's tragic that when it was about black lives, the same kind of activism was treated like the plague.

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