The United States is still basking in the afterglow of the youth-initiated March for Our Lives that mobilized over a million youth and their supporters around the issue of gun violence. The activity, slated to be ongoing, was spearheaded by student survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, wherein 17 people lost their lives. The need for gun control is becoming more and more evident due to the high numbers of students (and staff) killed in school shootings by intruders sporting automatic weapons.
This event, and others to follow, led by the nation’s youth, has resulted in a lot of older Americans, Black and white, feeling like they can now rest because the future is in good hands…the new breed of youth are literally changing the face of America. The youth gave feel-good speeches that tugged at the heartstrings of observers and promised retaliation at the polls if changes in gun control laws did not happen. African Americans played a significant part in the march. Among those giving emotional speeches were 9-year-old Yolanda Renee King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s granddaughter, 11-year-old Naomi Wadley, and Trevon Bosley who had lost a sibling to gun violence.
But wait, there is more. Some African Americans are criticizing the publicity surrounding the March for Our Lives movement saying that there is more energy around the white people killed by assault weapons in schools than that given to the numbers of innocent African Americans killed by policemen. This is true, BUT, the chosen few choose themselves. If African Americans would put consistent energy in organizing around issues important to the community, significant results would follow. In fact, African American youth did organize the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. From its inception, it was vilified by some Black people because of various and sundry allegations that inserted psychic wedges between the movement and certain segments of the Black community. One of the psychic tools used to cast aspersions on the movement was that it was secretly funded by wealthy outside sources for the purpose of fomenting discord in America, and that the BLM organizers were, therefore, “sell-outs.” Another urged some members of the Black community to stand against the movement because one of the three female organizers allegedly belongs to the LGBT community. The BLM movement has, predictably, been somewhat sabotaged by both Black and white people, though it remains a viable entity.
An unfortunate truth about life on earth is that all change occurs as a result of opposing factions, strife. Opposition between disparate groups is a hallmark of creation. The animal kingdom is replete with examples of this, seen in the constant predatory behavior that occurs when different species come together. This predatory behavior is also seen among people when technologically advanced cultures come in contact with those that are less technically adept. Look at the Native American population and its decimation by the colonists for that example. Another unfortunate truth is that evil has no color; it resides in bodies of all skin types. Everyone on our planet is not in the same evolutionary grade, and it is difficult to tell the differences between the forces of dark and light based on external appearances. The only way to tell the difference is through behavior.
Change is in the air in America. The youth movement is evidence of a type of evolutionary advancement that is occurring. Freedom is never given by the oppressor, power must be taken. We must learn from history – there have been real victories when those of the oppressed minority come up against their oppressors. The civil rights movement, which featured the Montgomery Bus Boycott, provides the best blueprint: non-violent civil disobedience coupled with an economic component. This strategy was so effective that it resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As we face an uncertain future in America, we must do so with optimism and effective strategies with the youth leading the way. Key stratagems should include superior organization, unwavering focus, economic tactics and unity; there is strength in numbers! A Luta Continua.