If You Support The March For Our Lives And NOT Black Lives Matter, You're Anti-Black

If You Support The March For Our Lives And NOT Black Lives Matter, You're Anti-Black

Both of these movements should be getting our support.

As the March for Our Lives grows in popularity, it is important to remember that the black youth that have spoken out about Black Lives Matter were not given the same support as the teens from Parkland. I am not trying to take away from the accomplishments of the Stoneman Douglas students because the fact that they were able to get the entire country to come together in support of gun control is phenomenal. They have all been much stronger and braver than any teenager should ever have to be, and my gripes are not directed towards them.

The issue I have is with the people that have supposedly gained such a deep interest in protecting the lives of children while also being silent on Black Lives Matter.

The Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund reported that gun violence affects black children and teenagers the most, with them being four times as likely than their white counterparts to be killed by guns. Despite knowing this, a significant portion of the United States still chose to turn a blind eye or show their outright hatred for Black Lives Matter and then completely change their tune once a movement starts as a result of the murders of white teens. The deaths of black children as a result of gun violence is seen as negligible because our society only values the lives of white people.

The hypocrisy surrounding the support for the March for Our Lives but the disapproval of Black Lives Matter is frustrating, especially when high profile celebrities like Selena Gomez openly endorse it. In July of 2016, Gomez took to Twitter to complain about how many people do not use their voice to speak out about important issues. This resulted in someone asking her why she had not used her own voice to show her support for Black Lives Matter, and she had the following response:

She dismissed the entire movement by reducing it down to a hashtag, but then during the March for Our Lives protest, she posted on her Instagram about how strongly she felt about the march and how it was more than just a hashtag.

It is interesting how much Gomez emphasized that the march was to protect people from gun violence even though the Black Lives Matter protests were also raising awareness about gun violence in their communities while addressing the issue of police brutality as well. The public has begun to label Gomez as anti-black because of this double standard.

It is worth mentioning that her tweets where she belittled Black Lives Matter are almost two years old, and it is possible that she educated herself about the movement and realized she was wrong. However, I honestly doubt that that is the case because she has never apologized for her previous statements.

Both the March for Our Lives and Black Lives Matter movements have received significant amounts of hate, but the March for Our Lives was accepted with open arms in comparison to Black Lives Matter. Many people see Black Lives Matter as a nuisance and divisive because it does not go by "All Lives Matter" and because it focuses on highlighting the struggles of the black community. The idea of the March for Our Lives makes anti-black Americans more comfortable because the movement originated from a predominantly white community.

The Parkland students have been doing their part in checking their own privilege and giving space for black voices to be heard, so now it is time for the supporters of the March for Our Lives to do the same.

Cover Image Credit: Tim Mudd

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Message To High School Seniors

It's going to be alright.


Dear High School Seniors,

You've made it! In just a few months you will be getting ready to put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage to get your diploma. Soon, you're gonna say goodbye to the life you've known for the past four years and start a new life somewhere else. At this point, your senioritis has most likely already kicked in and you're probably dreading waking up at 7 a.m. more and more each day. The second semester of senior year is annoying but cherish every moment of it.

Everything is about to change. As you walk down the hallways look around. Take a second to look at your classmates and ask them how their day is going. Learn about them and the stories they have to share with the world. Everybody has some advice to give and you never know what you're going to learn. Before you know it, you won't be seeing their faces anymore. The only form of connection you'll have with most of them is through social media which will eventually fade as well. You don't want your only memories of those you graduated with to be just seeing their face in the hall.

Go to the places you love the most. Whether it's your favorite hometown restaurant or your favorite place to hang out with your friends, go. Go until you're sick of it. Take a second to acknowledge the sights and smells around you. You're going to miss them. In a few months, you won't be able to jump in your car and drive five minutes to get there. The places that make your home your home are about to be a long car ride or flight away.

Spend time with your family. This is one thing I wish I realized earlier more than anything. Your parents are most likely going to soon become visibly upset or scared at the fact that you're leaving them. After all, you are their little girl or boy. This time is just as stressful for them as it is for you. But don't make fun of them, hang out with them. You're going to miss the once dreaded trips to the grocery store with your mom and the annoying car rides with your little brother. You really don't realize how important your family is to you until they're not a few footsteps away anymore. Unfortunately, no amount of facetime calls will ever compare to being with them in person. Don't leave home wishing you had spent more time with them.

Be involved in the things happening at your school. Go to prom. Buy a yearbook and get as many people as you can to sign it. Go to the football, basketball, baseball and soccer games you have left. These activities may seem boring at times but they are what you're going to miss. When you get to a big university it isn't going to be as easy to get involved.

Get excited about for the future. Even if you're not going to your dream school, it's going to be ok. The second semester of my senior year I spent upset over the fact I was going to stay at an in-state school. The school I'm at now was the last place I had thought about attending. I almost didn't even apply. However, I am so lucky that I did. I truly can not imagine there being a school that could have been a better choice for me. The people I have met and the opportunities I have been given would have never been put in front of me if I had attended another school. Try to keep an open mind. Everything really does happen for a reason. If you aren't going to the school you originally were hoping to, don't stress. You're going to end up at the place right for you, at least I know I did.

College is amazing but there will always be something special about your home. Make sure you make these last few months your best months. These next few months will be filled with a whole lot of lasts and followed by a whole lot of firsts. Good luck!

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