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We Demand Action.

Angel Hemme

"Enough is enough!"

"No more guns!"

"We demand action!"

These were some of the chants heard at the March For Our Lives marches across the country. But why is our government only starting to recognize these problems now? Are there problems with the ways we’ve been trying to create change?

Marching and protesting are great—it shows the government you will not stand idly by, but what do people do after the march? Is marching just an excuse to take cute pictures and let people know how ‘woke’ you are? Activism is not something to brag about or show off, you do it for what you believe in, and it comes in so many different forms.

We talk so, so much about protesting, organizing walkouts and marching, but where’s the lobbying? The calling to state representatives? The non-glorified pieces of social activism are the most important since they help force evolution in our society. How many people, after marching and giving themselves a pat on the back for it, will actually do something concrete? This is not to claim that marching and protesting are useless. This is to highlight the other components to marching and protesting in order to make them viable to democracy, capable of altering the nation.

Another problem with marches is when some groups feel isolated. During the women’s march, people of color stated how not this many people had showed up for Black Lives Matter protests, but now suddenly, white women were showing up in hordes wearing pink hats and shouting for change. During March For Our Lives, I saw on social media how so many African-Americans were disgruntled about the fact that when teens organized Black Lives Matter protests, they were labelled as thugs and their efforts, but the Parkland teens were noticed by government figures who were now inspired to enact change. This is not meant to shame people, but it still shows a pervasive example of racism. In fact, during the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. mainly succeeded because of his inclusion of Christian values, something white people could get behind without feeling like they were supporting a “thug” like Malcolm X, even if both stood for the same value- racial equality.

In conclusion, marching and protesting are an essential part to social activism, but we can’t forget that it’s not the end-all be-all of social activism.

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