A group of students who survived the deadly Parkland school shooting last month slammed mainstream media for not paying attention to or devoting enough airtime to gun violence in predominately Black communities.
David Hogg, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School and a member of the student-led #NeverAgain movement against gun violence, dubbed the unequal news coverage one of the “greatest obstacles” the group is working to overcome, Huffington Post reported.
Students from the South Florida school have gained national attention in their push for gun control in the weeks since suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, carried out a Valentine’s Day massacre there, killing 17 people last month.
“There’s a lot of racial disparity in the way that this [shooting] is covered,” Hogg, 17, said during a live Q&A session on Twitter on Monday.
” … 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’ve died as a result of [gun violence], and haven’t been covered the same can now be heard.”
Widespread support for the Parkland students was quickly called into question by critics and activists of color who blasted the media for ignoring gun violence in nonwhite areas and subsequent calls to action by locals. Some even wondered if the Parkland survivors would stand in solidarity with students fighting gun violence in Black communities frequently rattled by deadly shootings.
Cameron Kasky, another activist with the #NeverAgain movement, acknowledged the disproportionate impact gun violence has on Black and brown communities as well as people living in low-income communities.
“We’re an affluent community ― that’s why initially everybody followed this [shooting] so closely,” Kasky, 17, said during the 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.”
“We have to represent those who unfortunately were ignored,” Kasky added. “This isn’t 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.”
According to Huff Post, the Parkland survivors, as well as students disproportionately affected by gun violence, are expected to speak at the massive March For Our Lives protest on March 24 in Washington, D.C.
*Discussion on unequal media coverage starts around the 30 minute mark in the clip above.