This isn’t the first time teenagers asked America to: “DON’T SHOOT!”
Why It Hurts When the World Loves Everyone but Us
I've been processing seemingly contradictory emotions since the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. I am at once in awe of…
TFW: . . . someone FINALLY not only says what you’re thinking, but says it in a poignant, non-spiteful, utterly truthful — EXPERIENTIAL AND FACTUAL — way.
This school shooting was horrible, as all school shootings are. The death of CHILDREN was horrible, as it always is. And those children bravely fighting back is inspiring. As THAT always is. But people need to recognize: Parkland teens weren’t the first (and won’t be the last). Their methods come from those in older movements, including the M4BL and those under its umbrella, who stood up before, and were largely ignored, maligned, and dismissed — told to sit down or get shot — because of their, ahem, lack of coherent message, goal, and yadda-yadda-it’s-really-because-they-were-black-and-POCs. We ALL know the when brown skin speaks, the sound is automatically turned down by the world. Especially when that sound is: “DON’T SHOOT. BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
It’s NEVER unhelpful or wrong to be aware and SELF-aware. If Parkland teens have won your ear, great. Good. But dark-skinned teens standing up for their lives, and the lives of other teens and PEOPLE with dark skin don’t get your ear equally and never have . . . recognize that and examine it. No one’s telling you to change your mind or heart, or even asking you to. But be aware. And don’t lay claims to an empathy that’s conditional/limited at best, and bigoted and situational at worst. If ALL teen lives don’t matter, than no teen lives matter. For those of you who’ve been fond of that all-lives hashtag.
ALL LIVES includes black lives. Teen lives. Black teen lives. LIVES.
NO ONE deserves to be slaughtered by racist, gun-toting psychopaths who need to be armed with semi-automatic weapons, dozens of rounds — probably a rage-boner — and a belly full of scared-crazy to even hit a target.
(And no one deserves to be slaughtered by troubled former classmates, either.)
ALL LIVES. Or none.