It’s February 28, 2018. The students of John Bartram High School stand on the front steps of their school holding signs that say things like, “#wecounttoo” and “peace and love.” Why are they doing this? They are protesting unnecessary gun violence in Philadelphia and how it never gets media attention.
When the Parkland shooting happened, it gained national media attention, as it should. But what about the shootings that happen all the time and never get media attention? Students at John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia say that gun violence in their neighborhood is ongoing and underreported.
Just because a shooting happens in a so-called “bad neighborhood” does not mean it has less importance than other events. What does a “bad neighborhood” even mean? An acquaintance who lives in the suburbs once said things to me like, “West Philly is so bad,” and “I hope we’ll see a police chase.” These stereotypes are unfair and hurtful for people who live in these neighborhoods; just because some bad things may have happened, the neighborhood is now a “bad place.”
A reporter from The Notebook said that because these shootings happen so much, they may not be reported on because news stories need to be fresh and unique. This does make sense--if a news story keeps repeating on and on people would stop wanting to read it, but what about the people whose lives have been lost? Do they not matter to people?
In a speech at the We Count Too protest in February, Senator Anthony Hardy Williams said a very true quote: “A child on the other side of the city line is the same as a child who happens to live in an urban setting such as Philadelphia.”