Ms. Willis


Nikolas Cruz, 19; shooter who killed 17 people in Parkland, FL

Another day, another mass shooting.

By now, you’ve heard about the incident in Parkland, Florida where a white man, 19 year old Nikolas Cruz, shot multiple students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As of today, it has been reported that he killed 17 of those people.

By now, you’ve seen the tweets, Facebook posts, and media pundits engaging the same conversations we always have when there’s a mass shooting in America.

“Gun control laws now!” the white liberals scream.

“Thoughts and prayers,” say the white conservatives.

“We need more mental health resources,” says just about everyone who conveniently, and ignorantly, conflates mental illness with violence when the perpetrator is a white man.

Meanwhile, Black folks are rolling our eyes, saying what we always say: “Stop white people.”

At some point in time — probably not my lifetime — white people are going to have to stop talking in circles about gun control laws and have that hard conversation about how they continue to be a danger to others, and inevitably themselves, yet consistently underestimate how violent they are.

You know why school shootings are more likely to happen in majority white school districts/communities? Society has historically lulled white people into a false sense of security due their whiteness. “Get away from the coloreds, and you’ll be safe.” They don’t believe that they’re as readily capable of violence because they’re not as frequently victimized by it as people of color are.

It always comes full circle, though. And white people never learn the right lessons.

“It’s kinda pointless talking about gun control when white people never admit that they’re the weapon of mass destruction.”

What’s the point in gun reform when white people don’t understand how destructive they are? Why limit access to weapons when, in the case of my Black body, white people ARE the weapon? At this point, I don’t need laws making it harder for people to get guns (especially since the main people who will be affected by these laws are Black and brown folks). I need laws making it harder for white people to be white.

I need a law that mandates white men receive a lifetime of counseling, not because of mental illness, but to prevent them from raping and killing other people when they find out they’re not entitled to everything on this land.

I need a law that requires white women to report their brothers, fathers, boyfriends, and husbands whenever they even whisper something remotely prejudiced, or serve jail time with the men they enable.

I need a law that makes history written by people of color the mandatory curriculum in every school, so white children can truly learn how violent their ancestors were so as not to repeat that violence over and over again.

I need a law that requires white people pay reparations to Black women because maybe if they didn’t have so much money, they wouldn’t have the resources to destroy people and things.

I need the FBI to stop monitoring “Black identity extremists” and watch these bored white suburban kids who have so much time on their hands that they start doing dumb and dangerous shit.

I don’t want to hear anything about gun control laws until we get laws that regulate whiteness. That’s the only weapon of mass destruction that concerns me.

Ms. Willis

Written by

Baltimore. Teacher. Writer. Blerd. Queer. Womanist. Perpetual introvert. Serena is Queen. Beyoncé is Bae. Octavia is my Muse.

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