During a live Q&A on Twitter, students who survived the mass shooting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called out the media for dedicating an overwhelming amount of news coverage to their cause while ignoring Black communities fighting gun violence.
David Hogg, a senior at Douglas High, said the inequality of news attention is one of the “greatest obstacles” that #NeverAgain—the student-led anti-gun violence movement created after the shooting—is battling.
“There is a lot of racial disparity in the way that this [shooting] is covered,” Hogg, 17, said Monday during a live Q&A on Twitter.
“If this happened in a place of a lower socioeconomic status or ... a black community, no matter how well those people spoke, I don’t think the media would cover it the same,” Hogg added. “We have to use our white privilege now to make sure that all of the people that have died as a result of [gun violence] and haven’t been covered the same can now be heard.”
Other students of Stoneman Douglas who are activists in the #NeverAgain moments, including Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Alex Wind, Jaclyn Corin, Ryan Deitsch and Cameron Kasky, also discussed how Black communities are disproportionately affected by gun violence, yet are not given as much attention.
“We’re an affluent community ― that’s why initially everybody followed this [shooting] so closely,” Kasky, 17, said during the Twitter Q&A. “There are communities that ... have to deal with [gun violence] on a much more regular basis and have to feel a lot less safe than we do.”
Earlier in the month, a group of Parkland survivors met with students from Chicago in order to discuss how gun violence plagues their communities and how the movement can be most inclusive.
The students of Chicago, as well as others from marginalized communities hurt by gun violence, will speak at March For Our Lives, a massive protest against gun violence to be held on March 24 in Washington, D.C.
“We have to represent those who unfortunately were ignored,” Kasky said on Monday. “This is not just about us. ... When we’re together marching, this is not going to be different races, different generations ― this is going to be a unified people standing together against those who are trying to ignore us.”
(Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)