We can’t acknowledge Black History without talking about gun homicide’s toll on Black Americans and how racism, past and present, has created this crisis.
By Kelly Sampson, Brady Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We can’t truly recognize Dr. King, and other icons, without also recognizing the discrimination, segregation, and racism that shaped them. We can’t recognize Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, and Myrlie Evers without recognizing how racism and gun violence shaped their lives and took their husbands. We can’t truly honor these legacies without acknowledging that racism operates today.
Black people are 10 times more likely to die from gun homicide as white people. Black youth fare even worse; they are 14 times more likely than their white counterparts to die from gun homicide. On the whole, gun violence decreases Black Americans’ average life expectancy by about four years.