Doyle calls ‘Walk Up Not Out’ the ‘All Lives Matter’ of gun reform
In response to a viral Facebook post encouraging students to “walk up instead of out” on National Walkout Day, author and mother Glennon Doyle didn’t beat around the bush in calling the “walk up” movement out for what it is — complete and utter bullshit.
The “walk up” idea encourages students to walk up to people and say something kind instead of participating in a school walkout in the aftermath of the deadly Parkland shooting. Which is a nice, sugar-coated idea in theory — showing kindness to others isn’t something anyone is here to dispute. But putting the onus of preventing mass killings on innocent kids for not befriending outcasts is, to put it bluntly, fucking gross.
Thankfully, Glennon Doyle wasn’t having any of that nonsense.
“I have spent much of my career encouraging radical kindness in our families, schools, and country through my activism and art,” Doyle writes. “And I want to go on record saying that the #walkupnotout movement is a terrible, dangerous idea.”
She makes it clear her feelings aren’t about being kind or spreading kindness, because we should all do that. She wants to address the tone and underlying meaning of “walking up” instead.
“I believe, in general, that children should be kind their parents,” she says. “But…please imagine this: A group of abused children organize a demonstration to demand legislation to protect them from abuse and I choose THAT DEMONSTRATION to tell them to instead just go home and be kind to their parents.”
The Parkland survivors are victims. VICTIMS. And it’s outrageous to say to these children, “Hey, maybe if you had just been nicer to the shooter or shared some fries with him at lunch — none of this would have happened.” It’s a concrete way of thinking, at best. At worst, it’s victim-blaming.
“I believe, in general, that spouses should be kind to each other,” Doyle continues. “But…please imagine this: A group of abused women and men organize a demonstration to create legislation against domestic violence and I chose THAT VERY DEMONSTRATION to tell them to instead just go home and be kinder to their spouses.”
She shares further examples in her post of why this way of thinking is irresponsible and not at all helpful to those suffering. And why being “kinder” to abusers and people prone to violence isn’t the one-size-fits-all solution for preventing tragedies like what occurred in Parkland. Would we tell our daughters to just be “kinder” to men so those men don’t rape them? Do we really think fellow students being nice is what prevents an angry, violent, armed young man from attempting mass murder?
Simple answer: NO.
This way of thinking, of lecturing, of condescending our children — “be nice” — is lazy. Young people are more than capable of understanding and making tough choices, participating in civil discourse, and they are absolutely capable of confronting corrupt powers that be. The Parkland students have shown us exactly that.
“‘Walk Up Not Out’ is the All Lives Matter of gun reform,” Doyle concludes. “It is another way to deflect responsibilities from the adults and the legislators and the NRA and the GUNS in this country. It is NOT our children’s responsibility to protect themselves from gun violence. It is ours. Keep Walking out, kiddos. We’ve got your back.”