Shaw: Black Lives Matter should get the same support that March for Our Lives does

Protesters+march+on+the+Iowa+State+Capital+during+the+March+for+Our+Lives+in+Des+Moines+on+Saturday%2C+March+24%2C+2018.+%28Lily+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Shaw: Black Lives Matter should get the same support that March for Our Lives does

Protesters march on the Iowa State Capital during the March for Our Lives in Des Moines on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Protesters march on the Iowa State Capital during the March for Our Lives in Des Moines on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Lily Smith

Protesters march on the Iowa State Capital during the March for Our Lives in Des Moines on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Lily Smith

Lily Smith

Protesters march on the Iowa State Capital during the March for Our Lives in Des Moines on Saturday, March 24, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

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The contrasting support between Black Lives Matter and March for Our Lives needs to be addressed and overcome to truly become united in the fight for stricter gun laws and ending gun violence in the United States.

Nichole Shaw

[email protected]

The recent coverage of March for Our Lives in the media invoked an intense response from the American public. Activists such as Emma Gonzalez became the voice for trailblazing a revolutionary movement toward ending gun violence. The mission is to “ensure that no special-interest group or political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

The American public has responded with immense support in more than 800 cities marching, more than 200,000 people in Washington alone, according to CBS. While the support for this movement is amazing and should be praised, we must ask ourselves where this support was during the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Lives Matter mission statement is “to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on black communities by the state and vigilantes,” and this violence often comes from the trigger of a gun. Thus, both movements have the same inherent goals — ending gun violence. Despite their common missions, the American public does not view both with the same attitude and support. A CBS poll shows that after the March for Our Lives on March 24, 66 percent of Americans support young student activists in enacting stricter gun laws.

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However, during the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement, 43 percent of Americans supported the movement and stricter gun laws, according to Pew Research Center. This difference is astonishingly disappointing and needs to be eliminated. The difference in support between the two movements by the American people for similar end goals showcases the subtle racism that still plagues the United States. This is unacceptable. If this attitude continues, Americans will allow this pervasive racism to prosper alongside gun violence.

I believe it is March for Our Lives’ inherent duty to support Black Lives Matter, to rise together in the fight to end gun violence through their voices and their votes. Consequently, I feel it is every March for Our Lives supporter’s duty to also support Black Lives Matter. This partnership and continuous support can only result in more unity and a strong front against NRA lobbyists.

Despite public controversy over the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality, this movement has a lot of other goals that have been ignored and overshadowed by the incorrect assumption that African Americans hate police. The group’s website talks about being inclusive to all people and affirming the lives of other groups that have been violently targeted, such as queer and trans folk, women, and disabled persons. They strive for liberation and eliminating violence against blacks not only through police brutality, but gang violence, among other forms.

 

RELATED: Editorial: After yet another school shooting, Congress must act against gun violence

The Black Lives Matter movement should get more attention and support now that we have widespread support for gun control in the recent Our Lives Matter marches that occurred around the nation. African-American kids and adults have been asking for stricter gun laws and regulation for years, but nobody listened. Now, young white children are being heard around the nation in their demand for gun control. African Americans need to be heard, too. It’s time to listen.

At the march in D.C., 11-year-old Naomi Wadler brought attention to the fact the discussion of gun violence that African Americans endure, particularly young women, is not present in the media. She pointed out that Black Lives Matter has been championing the same goals and was ignored in the media, even though black lives have been put at risk more disproportionately than any other race in America.

She is right. It is a fundamental responsibility for supporters of March for Our Lives to support Black Lives Matter, too. If not, these people are oppressing the same people who endure the same fear they do in their fight to live in a country that has had more casualties from gun violence than casualties in war.

It’s time to end secret, blanket racism and come together to support everyone in the fight to end gun violence through legislation. Let everyone’s voice be heard.

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