We Need To Talk About Black Lives And Gun Violence After The Florida Shooting
In the week since a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, there has been a national reckoning ― from student-led marches to wall-to-wall media coverage to White House events ― about gun violence and how to stop it.
For some black activists who have long been mobilizing around gun violence, the current wave of public attention and outrage over the issue is welcome. But it also invites the question of why there’s been comparatively little attention and outrage focused on the even more common reality of routine gun homicides in the country, which disproportionately affect communities of color, and specifically black Americans.
Prominent black organizers and public figures have also noted the largely positive public response to the student activists from Parkland ― most of whom are not black and who attended school in a largely white, relatively affluent Florida suburb ― compared to the frequent vilification of young black activists protesting gun violence, particularly police shootings.