Parkland Shooting Survivors Vow To Use Their 'White Privilege' To Speak Up On Gun Violence Affecting Black Communities
The survivors turned activists have taken the National Rifle Association head on and are not backing down anytime soon.
Since the devastating Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, teen survivors have made a commitment to fight gun violence in all communities across the country.
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David Hogg, activist and one of the survivors of the shooting that claimed 17 lives, has vowed to use his newfound platform and "white privilege" to address gun violence in black communities. The 17-year-old high school senior believes that there has been unequal coverage that has all but neglected gun violence in low-income communities.“There is a lot of racial disparity in the way that this [shooting] is covered,” Hogg, said Monday during a live Q&A on Twitter. “If this happened in a place of a lower socioeconomic status or ... a black community, no matter how well those people spoke, I don’t think the media would cover it the same. We have to use our white privilege now to make sure that all of the people that have died as a result of [gun violence] and haven’t been covered the same can now be heard.”
Acclaimed author Roxane Gay mentioned this nearly a month ago. Gay wrote in a February Twitter thread that the support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists was not the same as the support the Parkland survivors received. BLM did not receive the same enthusiasm, and the media and celebrities did not show the same level of humanization and worthiness to their cause.
Other activists are well aware of this and want to change that. Cameron Kasky, 17, said that Parkland survivors received more attention because they are from an affluent community and gun violence is not expected to happen in wealthy, white communities in the United States.
“We’re an affluent community ― that’s why initially everybody followed this [shooting] so closely,” Kasky, 17, said during the Twitter Q&A.
“We have to represent those who unfortunately were ignored. This is not just about us. ... When we’re together marching, this is not going to be different races, different generations ― this is going to be a unified people standing together against those who are trying to ignore us.”
Earlier this month, activist Emma González and others met with gun violence activists in Chicago in attempt to help understand one another and further each other's causes.
“I’m excited these young people are getting attention, which they deserve, and they’re driving amazing social change,” Dante Barry, co-founder of the anti-racist, anti-violence organization Million Hoodies, told HuffPost earlier this month. “But I’m also disheartened and a little shocked to see folks like Oprah give $500,000 to [March for Our Lives], while she’s seen black folks in the streets for years.”
The March for Our Lives movement has taken on the National Rifle Association and called out Republicans who are hellbent on supporting the organization despite the national outcry for gun law reform.