Debate: Is The Gun Control Movement Too White?

By now, almost everyone is familiar with the #NeverAgain movement, geared towards the advocacy for gun control by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida, following a mass shooting in the school that resulted in the death of 17 students. The movement has been gaining incredible speed, notable especially in the recent March For Our Lives — yet with this movement becoming increasingly prominent, a question has arose that has sparked controversy across social media: is this movement too white?

This ideology derived from criticism surrounding the attention of the Black Lives Matter movement compared to the Never Again movement, having similar goals and messages yet one main difference: race.

The Black Lives Matter movement dealt entirely with racial injustices in the police force, as too many black people were being unjustly killed, yet it attracted hardly as much attention, especially in media, than Never Again.

In 2016, more than 52% of murder victims (73% killed by guns) in America were black, despite black people making up only 13% of the population. Yet the racial injustice or police brutality problems have not been mentioned by this gun control movement.

More controversy was stirred as photos emerged from the Never Again protests where white protestors donned “Don’t shoot.” The slogan, along with putting your hands up or saying ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’ surfaced from the protests regarding the death of Mike Brown, shot and killed by a white officer. Many claimed that protesters were appropriating the slogan of Black Lives Matter.

David Hogg, founder of Never Again, even stated that the black survivors from MSD, a school that is 25% black, had not received the same attention as the other teenagers and that media deprived them of a voice.

On the other hand, ethnic students and activists everywhere, including Hispanic and black, have taken part in the movement and many are arguing back that the March for Our Lives featured speeches from many different ethnicities.

(The author of the tweet soon expressed how she had changed her mind on the issue.)

Black Lives Matter activists displayed their participation in the March For Our Lives on Instagram as well, showing that the two movements working together would be more effective.

Many black people have been actively participating and making a difference in the movement against gun violence — but are their voices being heard enough?

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

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