I just wanted to take a few minutes here to sort of recap on my experience today and just leave a few comments and photos (courtesy of my boyfriend) of the amazing people who came out to protest today and the wonderful signs (of which there were many that we, unfortunately, couldn’t get snaps of) that they made in the fight to keep schools and, subsequently, this country a safe place for all of its citizens. I have a bit of commentary because this topic is deeply important and I cannot in good conscience be silent on the matter.
We arrived a bit late, unfortunately, as there was a bit of confusion over whether it would be starting at 10 am or 12 pm and woke to find it had started at 10. Still, we got there in time to join and listen to a few people giving speeches. And I can honestly say that the experience has made me feel so much better about this country after all the unfortunate and often disturbing things it has faced in recent years. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found myself devastated by a lot of things that have happened and it’s even caused tension between me and some of my family members.
It has been truly wonderful to be around people today who are not blind to the issues of gun violence, racism, and sexism among others. It has been heartwarming to be around people who don’t support the President who is perfectly okay with gun violence, racism, and sexism. I had an amazing day. And I’m filled with a lot of hope for our future because of it. These kids have done that. They have inspired so many people and that’s amazing.
Now, I don’t usually do this as I prefer to have a bit more anonymity online when it comes to where I live, but I wanted to discuss Stephon Clark. I’m from California. I was born on Beale AFB and I’ve spent a vast amount of my life growing up in the northern part of this state. I currently live in Sacramento. On March 18th, in this very city, a young black man was shot to death in the backyard of his grandparents home.
When we demand the end of gun violence, we must demand the end of all gun violence. This includes children in our schools, for which many spoke today and I could not be more proud or more grateful for the children who are fighting for this safety. But this also includes the unarmed men and women of color who are wrongly murdered, persecuted, and oppressed under a disgusting rhetoric of racism and stereotyping that prompt police to either fear for or claim to fear for their lives every single time they murder an unarmed human being.
And we need to recognize and take a stand against the fact that this does not happen to white people. It doesn’t even happen to white criminals most of the time. We can have white men shoot up a planned parenthood or a Muslim mosque and those very men are taken into custody, often with no wounds at all, let alone injuries that result in their deaths.
It is not the same for anyone who does not share the privilege of a pale skin tone. It needs to stop and it needs to change because the way this country, our police force, and the people in power react to these issues is unacceptable. And it is unacceptable that the people who are meant to be trained to handle high stress and potentially injurious situations immediately jump at the chance to fire their weapons before fully ascertaining the situation. It is unacceptable that they shot an unarmed man twenty times.
The children leading the March For Our Lives movement have started something truly incredible. They are going to change the world. They are going to make history. And I hope everyone involved in this movement has the compassion and the sense to use this momentum to create a safer world not only for the students but also for the people who have been oppressed and murdered without cause over and over again. Gun violence affects so many people and I want don’t want a single person it has hurt to be forgotten or ignored.
We can take this movement, we can take this momentum, and we can make the world safer for us all. Gun violence and brutality, whether it comes from someone who shoots inside a school or someone who shoots without just cause, needs to end.
So, make sure you vote to rid ourselves of the politicians who won’t bring about these changes. Make sure you speak out when something wrong is happening. Make sure you stand up against anyone who tries to argue that we can’t do anything or tries to blame the victims for what happened. We’re talking about human lives here. And when that’s what’s at stake, there’s really no excuse to not try everything you can.