CHS Bonfire

Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

Back to Article
Back to Article

Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

Pexels

Pexels

Pexels

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On Wednesday May 2, about fifty students walked out of Cody High School to support  the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

I’ve never shot a gun. I’ve never even held a gun. I don’t really want to hold a gun – not because I hate them, but it’s just not who I am. I’m thoroughly indifferent to the Second Amendment, because the right to bear arms isn’t something I apply to myself.

I do, however, 100 percent support the First Amendment. Often seen as the “Freedom of Speech” amendment, it actually guarantees four other freedoms: Religion, Press, Redress of Grievances, and Right to Assemble. To me, the right of everyone to speak their opinion and to help decide how this nation is run is absolutely imperative to making liberty possible in America – given that the speech isn’t hate speech, which is what I saw Wednesday at the walkout.

There were two signs that caught my eye. One spelled out “LGBT” with “Liberty, Guns, Beer, and Trump,” in an acrostic pattern. The other read “Black Rifles Matter.” In a school environment, these are not appropriate.

I don’t think these students meant any ill will toward anybody in the school. When you have more cows than people in your state, and when 90 percent of your population is white, it’s hard to remember that diversity exists. But it does – yes, even in our school.

Some students are affected by these actions. Some students see these “funny” little puns and jokes and feel like they are not safe and welcome in our school. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 92 percent of LGBT youth claim to have heard negative messages about being LGBT, with the top sources being school, online, and their peers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 34 percent of LGB students were bullied on school property, and 28 percent have been bullied electronically. PBS also says that only 54 percent of African Americans will graduate high school while their Caucasian and Asian American peers rest at more than a 75 percent graduation rate.

Free Speech is important, perhaps one of the most important freedoms that American citizens are entitled. But being rude, mean, and spiteful is simply not appropriate while accessing your speech, especially in a school environment. While not technically hate speech, as hate speech is defined as being targeted at a very specific person or group, it is the same hateful rhetoric that furthers and makes acceptable the bullying and violence against LGBTQ+ and POC youth in our schools.

And besides that, it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. What do the LGBTQ+ and African- American communities have to do with the Second Amendment? These signs only make this cause look unfocused and overly malicious in intent, which is most likely not the intended effect that they were attempting.

To be honest, I think people tend to always get a little carried away at protests and marches. Often, I see people with signs and chants that don’t have much to do with the issues at hand. It makes sense. You’re standing up for something you believe in, and then you’re inspired to stand up for everything you believe in. You get carried away. It’s all fine and well to be excited about what you believe in, but make sure you’re advocating for the cause you’re there supporting.

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand”

  1. Theo Riley on May 16th, 2018 11:51 am

    Love this. Well written.

  2. Ira Mickelson on May 16th, 2018 3:19 pm

    I fail to see the connection of black rifles matter to the African American community I can tell it is a pun but where infact does it call out African Americans or any political group at all? I fail to see the bullying to the LGBTQ community so they own the letters?

  3. Benjamin Wambeke on September 12th, 2018 9:32 pm

    First, I apologize for my lack of urgency in replying to your comment. I was taking a nap.

    How could Black Lives Matter and thus Black Rifles Matter have anything to do with African Americans? You’re right, I needed to explain that in this articule for sure. Absolutely no one could draw the connection on their own.

    Also, no, Queer individuals do not “own” the letters “L G B T,” but would you honestly argue that usuing those letters in that order in rainbow colors was not a direct callout to the LGBT community? I hope you do not seriously consider me that dense. As you notice in my article, I stated that I did not consider the signs to be specifcally aimed at students, so I do not consider them to be an example of bullying. However, as I stated in the article, they can lead to bullying and “othering” of these students. This happens because the signs take these well known phrases and change them to fit a politcal viewpoint, which implies there to be something wrong with the original phrase, thus making LGBT students or African- American students feel unsafe or unwanted by their peers.

    May I also say, outside the context of this article, that I find the “Black Rifles Matter” sign particularly distasteful? In an age of terrible police brutalitity and profiling against African- Americans, it is simple disrespectful in my opinion to take a slogan specifally designed to fight police brutality and to replace it with a weapon used to kill many of the victims is simply disrespectful to the movement and to the legacy victims such as Trayvon Martin and Alton Sterling. Not only that, but by replacing the word “lives” with “rifles,” the unfortunate implication is that we should care more about guns than lives, that guns matter more than black lives. Police brutality is okay because gun rights are more important than saving black lives. I think we can all agree that is a message no one meant to say, but one that unfortunely was.

  4. Meg Burkhart on May 17th, 2018 10:04 am

    This is really well written! I agree; when a number of the posters aren’t even about the second amendment, the march becomes inappropriate.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Local News

    CHS Students and Staff Voyage to Baku

  • Local News

    Romero Gets Grant for Recycling Committee

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    State Tennis: Fillies take Third, Broncs take Tenth

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    Photo Story: Holiday Homecoming 2018

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    Big Win, Big Rival

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    Features

    Freshman Start From Scratch

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    Arts & Entertainment

    Photo Story: CHS Homecoming Bonfire

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    Border Wars 2018

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    We Send Our Condolences to Star Valley

  • Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand

    News

    9/11

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Cody High School
Keep Protests to the Issue in Hand