Black Lives Matter Activism Must Be Met With The Same Respect As March For Our Lives

Black Lives Matter Activism Must Be Met With The Same Respect As March For Our Lives

Where were the hundreds of thousands of March For Our Lives supporters back in 2012 when Michael Brown was murdered?
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This past weekend, I attended the March For Our Lives that was being held in my city. Even though I desperately wanted to attend the one in Washington D.C., witnessing the march in Milwaukee was still a memorable moment that will stay with me forever.

However, there is an elephant in the room that must be addressed regarding this new surge in political activism. While I am indubitably proud of how rapidly the Parkland students have united the youth across America for gun reform, we still need to admit the hypocrisy of it.

Where were the hundreds of thousands of March For Our Lives supporters back in 2012 when Michael Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson? Where were they when Dontre Hamilton was shot down by a policeman right in Red Arrow Park, exactly where the Milwaukee March For Our Lives rally was held?

Black people were met with tear gas and SWAT teams when they advocated for their own lives, while those taking part in the March For Our Lives are greeted with concerts by Ariana Grande and Lin Manuel Miranda. Why is there such a huge surge in activism once white people finally decide to stand up and address the issues plaguing our nation?

Now, let me be clear: I am not trying to divide these movements. In fact, I am advocating for Black Lives Matter and March For Our Lives to come together to create an even greater impact on gun violence.

The March For Our Lives should truly mean ALL of our lives, and if doesn't include everyone, then there's really no point in it.

During this past weekend, one video that kept resurfacing on Twitter caught my eye. Trevon Bosley, a speaker at the D.C. march on Saturday, lives in Chicago, a city plagued with gun violence every single day.

With a photo of his brother, Terrell, who was shot and killed in 2006, Trevon reminded marchers that he lives in a city where 5, 850 civilians have been killed since 2006.

Too many times, people arguing against gun control always scream the same three words: "What about Chicago?!" Well, Trevon gave you your answer. They're struggling too and they need our help just as much as the kids of Parkland, concertgoers in Las Vegas, or kindergartners in Connecticut.

Gun reform should not only be brought up when mainly white people die. The gun violence issue should not just be addressed when a white, mentally ill "lone wolf" initiates his attack. Police have been committing unnecessary gun violence towards black people for as long as I can remember. They must be held accountable, too.

Just today, as I'm writing this article, I have received a notification on my computer that the police officers who murdered Alton Sterling will not be charged. Will the March For Our Lives supporters rally for Alton? Or now that they've done their one good deed, will they continue to ignore the black people in this country living in fear for their lives?

Cover Image Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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