People are trying to get the word out about what the hell is actually happening in Baltimore, just like they did with what happen in Ferguson and NY and what is happening every day in *our* country. but too many of us for whom the life of a Black Man in the US is not our lived experience are still just shaking our heads and wondering about the “madness”. Lets be clear, its not madness it is anger and pain, it is people dying because of a system of injustice that is as old as this country. We helped build it, we help keep it in place, even when dont mean to or think we are. and it needs to stop.
Here’s part of the reality:
– thousands of people are protesting a system that is killing our friends, and families.
– a few people are getting all of the attention for breaking things.
– the police are not being held accountable for their actions
Ask questions. *Listen* to the answers, even when they feel like shit. Ask more questions. Check the footnotes and source links and pay attention to who gains from the narrative being repeated.
A friend of mine who lives this crap day in and day out in a way I never will, writes powerful, clear words about Baltimore:
Just so we’re clear and not fooling ourselves:
The police are claiming that the “rioters” in Baltimore are bringing this on themselves.
The riots are being depicted as the violent overflow of “racial tension” in Baltimore.
The media is discrediting the instigators (drunk, white, sports fans) and cops who decided to respond by throwing rocks BACK.
The cops have not and will not explain how a man in their custody broke his spine in THREE PLACES and SHATTERED HIS VOICEBOX all on his own, as though they may not have lent him a hand…
And still, people will ask the rioters for peace? Baltimore has a HISTORY of police abuse and brutality against a marginalized populace made up of overwhelming numbers of Black people.
But the rioters are the problem…. RIIIIIIIIIIGHT.
Get back at me when you come with some legitimate things to say. Respectability politics and calls for peace have fallen not on deaf ears, but on exhausted ones.
They’ve tried peaceful and respectable and no one would listen. Now, when a couple windows get busted, all of a sudden no one wants to listen AGAIN, but for different reasons; now it’s about how the “tone” of the protesters is too strident, too angry, too MUCH for white people and their feelings.
– Lina Hernandez FB post 4/28/15