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?