WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE.
You may or may not agree with what I’m about to say, but that’s never stopped me from speaking my mind. So here goes.
The problem with what’s going on in Baltimore has nothing to do with the rioting.
It has nothing to do with the destruction of the community.
It has nothing to do with the media.
The problem with what’s going on in Baltimore has to do with all of us as Americans.
We are fucked up.
We live in a society where the consistent murder of young brothas is expected to be appeased by candle lighting, stuffed animal shrines and then patiently waiting for the next public outrage to fuel our innate frustration with a broken system.
Because it keeps happening over and over again.
And the list of all the brothas we’ve lost to to police brutality and street violence grows longer almost every month.
We live in a society that has become so apathetic and dismissive they happily refer to the rioters as “savages”, “animals”, “thugs” and so many other colorful word choices that are code for calling them all a bunch of violent niggas on a rampage.
And I can recognize the anger because I get the frustration.
I got it when George Zimmerman walked off scot-free after murdering Tray.
I got it when after Zimmerman’s acquittal when Angela Corey addressed the media like “Hey, this is what y’all wanted”.
I got it when the police killed Eric Garner.
I get the anger because I am a black man. And I feel the stares and fear from others who look nothing like me just as much as I feel the fear and stares from those who look just like me.
And all of it is fucked up.
Yet, I don’t understand the logic behind destroying your own community. Because it is your community. You have to live there. It’s not like you’ll fuck this area up, wake up the next day and say “Time to move”
What’s the plan beyond the anger?
Here is one quote I’ve been seeing a lot lately;
a riot is the language of the unheard
The actual quote is this:
It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard.
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are specific conditions that have lead up to the culmination of violence and destruction in Baltimore.
Our society as a whole is failing black men.
Honestly, our society itself is failing everyone because these riots may feel good to them now but what happens tomorrow?
Because when tomorrow comes the community will be fucked up.
And soon another brotha will be murdered by a racist cop.
And another brotha will be murdered by another brotha sooner than that.
And the Government will remain a bigger gang than the Crips and Bloods.
But the system will continue to look at us as just a bunch of rowdy niggas when we are indeed a group of frustrated Americans that are not receiving our piece of the American dream.
And all of it is fucked up because America is fucked up.
America is the science project built by the blood and sweat of Africans and destroyed by the privilege of Europeans.
And in all honesty, it never belonged to either of us.
I cannot condone what’s going on in Baltimore because I know that this temporary cry for freedom is equal parts correct and incorrect.
I’m still so unsure of how we move on from here because it’s the same damn cycle every time.
Cops (or white person, take your pick) kills a young brotha – Community outrage – Cop/White Person acquitted – Public Outrage – Repeat a few times – RIOT!
And then we’re left with broken communities that we must band together to rebuild.
People like to also point out the fact that when white people riot they’re never mentioned in the news or placed in a negative light, and that’s 100% true.
I was amazed by that dumb ass pumpkin riot last year, where the media basically touted those fools as “mildly terrorizing” the city. Yet here, in an instance of institutionalized disenfranchisement and anger there’s almost a kind of “I don’t understand why they’re so angry” type of vibe in the reportage.
There’s also a very “Can you believe the way they’re acting???!!” tinge of shock in the reportage as well, which I find condescending and annoying.
Yet that’s what the media wants to invoke in us. A negative reaction that will keep our Timelines and Tweets filled with articles about racism, videos about the riots and discourse that dips its toe into the “You’re Racist-No I’m Not!” type of conversations that destroy online friendships forever.
Not that it really would take much to do that in the first place.
What I don’t understand is the logic behind a society who kills it’s young black men based off of fear but allows young troubled white men the honor of gracing Rolling Stone magazine after he’s blown up people at the finish line of a marathon.
Or refer to a young white murderer who opens fire inside of a packed movie theater as “troubled”.
What I also don’t understand is the logic behind a society who believes that rioting will solve all of our issues when it never has before. Tomorrow marks the 23rd anniversary of the day those four police officers were acquitted of the Rodney King beating. LA went nuts for six fuckin’ days, and then in the aftermath people were like “Time to rebuild!”
I remember the Rodney King beating when I was a kid. I was thirteen and pissed about it. But when those officers got off I was angry. I wanted to tear shit up and fight back. Hell, even me and my dad got into a heated argument that day about something. It was probably the anger and frustration we both felt over the verdict.
But when it was over the community was left to rebuild amidst the same system that would later go on to mercilessly kill more brothas like Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Patrick Dorismond and Oscar Grant.
Once again, this issue is not with the people of Baltimore who are rioting.
Because truth be told their protesting went all the way left by a few instigators and that is not indicative of everyone who was involved with the protesting.
The issue here is that America devalues the lives of our brothas so much that in order for this issue to be addressed we feel that we MUST riot.
But it’s destroying we they live, and all I see is the future of a community living without the resources it needs to take care of its own residents.
I want police the stop murdering my brothas out of fear. I want Americans in general to give a fuck about my brothas and my sistahs because we are Americans too.
The outside world doesn’t look at us as black and white.
They view us all as Americans.
A country of fucked up Americans.
This is history unraveling before us yet conversely it is our past damning us to repeat the same cycle unless we all realize how fucked up our country is right now.