Baltimore

By: S. Davis

For a week now I’ve been avoiding the need to address Baltimore, Maryland. A supporter of my page wanted to read my opinion so I decided to cave and put my thoughts out to be read.

Race is a topic that I’m completely comfortable discussing but it’s one that scares the shit out of most people – and I get that. Will just discussing race solve the problems in America? No, it never has. More has to be done but that next step is bewildering and no one has dared to take whatever that next step is in decades. It’s 2015 or maybe it’s 1944 when our country fought overseas to free innocent Europeans from tyranny but continued the practice of domestic segregation, legally.

I completely detest the rioting and looting that took place last week; it was wrong and destructive to the community. Burning the CVS Pharmacy will probably dissuade that corporation from rebuilding there; I hope they’re aware of that. Those jobs may never return to the area, I hope they know that. Also, the sick and elderly that relied on that CVS for prescriptions may have just had their lives unnecessarily altered for the worse.

Now the media had their cameras trained on the rioters and looters. See, I understand that. Why? Simply put, it’s splashy and newsworthy – and should be covered. It’s the same reason why someone could be killed or kids could be abducted and the local news will begin their coverage for the morning or evening with a celebrity breakup. Of all the protesters, those committing crimes were a small percentage. Most of the dissenters were peaceful and never let their anger escalate to violence yet that was rarely highlighted.

What happened nationally, thereafter, wasn’t difficult to predict. White Americans, who are the majority in the United States – and furthermore have more eyes on the news – were shocked to see the rage and unrest. I feel most Americans, somewhere in their hearts, knew the fires, looting and fights weren’t the way to solve anything.

Oddly most of the country, the media, and all the talking heads at networks, ignored why the citizens in Baltimore reacted in the manner in which they did in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death. Gray’s death was just the last straw, so to speak. They were frustrated and a fuse was lit that led to the city imploding.

It all blew up because of a lack of financial mobility, a dying city infrastructure, racial profiling, under-funded and failing schools, the lack of political capital, current and decades-long treatment by the police department, etc.

Consider why the rioting took place – and not that it simply did for all to witness on national news outlets. We are a civilized nation aren’t we? I almost spit up vomit typing that question.

You get the point, right? It seems if your skin is a certain tint you understand more than others. Maybe only certain people are supposed to know…or care.

Everyone gasped, judged and bloviated from their pulpit. The need to editorialize came from every form of media an individual could consume. It was tremendous; a sign of the digital age we know live in. Also, it was sad.

There’s this popular argument going around that “race relations in this country are more poisoned that they’ve ever been” and the “blame” lies squarely on President Barack Obama. A great benefit of the internet is that it highlights how prevalent racism is, currently. Racism is enduring and refuses to die in America, let alone the rest of the world. We DO NOT live in a post-racial society and I doubt that we ever will. I would love to be wrong but I feel confident in the aforementioned statement.

Back to the person in the White House and his relation to the problem of race in this country: Obama is the problem, through no fault of his own…other than having a natural tint to his skin. Meaning that so many people in this country are against a president being anything other than white and male – maybe Hilary Clinton can break through for women – that it doesn’t matter how he attempts to bring Americans together. The audacity of him to stand up and attempt to lead, right? He’s being blamed for income inequality, race relations – and it’s his fault that all these recent, powerful, incidents that are sending black men to the morgue. It has to be someone’s so let’s just blame him.

America turned on its head the night he won the election. There was true hope of a united country and it seemed to be on the precipice of coming to fruition…for about four months. The fact that a black man won the presidency is a deep problem for those – either indirectly or otherwise – that think of the office as a white birthright.

Obama isn’t the problem, here; it’s everyone else that has an issue with him holding that seat, in that office, in that position of power. Period. He’s supposed to work the land not govern it. Am I going too far?

I don’t care about white guilt or shaming whites because of sins linked to slavery – and all the bullshit this country allowed after it. Everyone that’s white didn’t own slaves and there are people walking around whose families played a major part in fighting for equal rights for everyone.

Unfortunately there is putrid ignorance to the fact that whites and blacks (along with other minorities) live in separate versions of America. It’s profoundly disheartening and proven in times like these. Baltimore lashed out because they’ve been ignored and marginalized to the point of despair, suffocation and raw emotion. How else will someone focus on their plight? There are other cities that feel a kinship with those residents because the problems they face as a city are prevalent in other minority-dominated areas. Again, I do not agree with their actions but I understand the factors that steered them to such a potent conclusion.

Baltimore will recover but will it change? My heart goes out to the family of Freddie Gray. I do hope they receive the justice they’re seeking. All six of the police officers have been charged – and I hope they’re punished if they indeed caused his death. We’ll have to wait and see what ultimately comes from all this anguish.

This country makes me cringe but I also fill with pride when I hear the national anthem; such a dichotomy. As protests broke out in other major cities there were moments that made me smile. Protesters screaming, staging sit-ins, yelling, being handcuffed, crying, were people of, wait for it, all colors. What a novel idea.

One that’s far too inconsistent for a nation with “united” in its name.

 

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3 thoughts on “Baltimore

  1. ShelbyCourtland May 5, 2015 / 9:18 pm

    You are absolutely delusional. How in Hades can you hear the national anthem and get a sense of pride when not one word in that anthem is referring to you if you have Black or Brown skin? Not one word in the Declaration of Independence is referring to you if you have Black or Brown skin. As far as this country is concerned, you are still considered to be three-fifths of a person. Nothing has changed. The slave patrols are still on the beat, it is just that Black sell-outs have joined them; such as what murdered Freddie Gray because that mess is not human. They are depraved beasts.

    I, for one, am glad that they burned that mess down. It should still be burning. The only thing we do is encourage capitalism to run amok and protect some stores that are white-owned and whites reap the profits. What do Black people in inner cities own? They own nothing. How can a group of people that was dragged over to this country to be slaves, own anything? How can we pass legacies of businesses and land down to our children when we, ourselves were owned?

    While you are busy reciting the national anthem about how this is the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’, ask Tamir Rice how free he is. Ask Eric Garner how free he is. Ask Walter Scott how free he is. Ask John Crawford how free he is. Ask all the Black men that are incarcerated on some bullsh*t charges, just how free they are when white men are never charged for having more drugs on them than Black men have.

    If as you say the vast majority of the protesters in Baltimore were peaceful, why then put an entire city on lockdown by calling out the National Guard when people are fed up past their eyeballs with racism and outright murder and open season on them? How can Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake call anyone a ‘thug’ when the reason she stepped into the former mayor’s shoes is because former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was indicted for embezzlement, fraud and other crimes? Was Sheila Dixon called a ‘thug’? She engaged in criminal behavior.

    Barack Obama has not done one thing to help alleviate the problems in Black communities all across this country and if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as a citizen could accomplish something, I see no reason why a sitting president acts as though he is bound and gagged. That Uncle Tom sell-out is paid by those who pull his most willing strings for him to look in the other direction as this mess is going down and so he does!

    I truly hope that the slave patrol never turns in your direction, but if it does, remember to recite the national anthem, maybe that will keep them from beating the crap out of you!

    • sthewriter May 5, 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Since you spoke so eloquently can you tell me what burning your community to ashes accomplishes? What progress does that bring? Over 200 small businesses have been affected and it’s feared that many may never again be able to serve the community but setting fire to them is a great idea, according to you. Is it okay for the business owners that will never open again to lose an investment they may never recover from when they didn’t commit any crime? Luckily CVS has decided to rebuild in the area, this time. So you can go right ahead and root for a neighborhood to burn. There were a large number of minority owned, small business, that were destroyed. Businesses, that i’m sure, offered credit and jobs to those in the local area. But it should all burn according to you. Wake up! Local citizens just destroyed the local economy and the stores they used on a daily basis. You can’t see that doing that is a negative?

      I’m delusional? Why because I would like for this country to find a way to make race a non-issue? I’m certain that won’t ever come to fruition but I’d rather have that frame of mind than to rant and rave like you seem to do regularly on your page. I see the same problems in this country like you do but my heart’s not filled with rage and anger.

      The vast majority of protests were peaceful. The news is supposed to cover the rioting and looting – and it sucked you in to believe that was the majority of those angry in Baltimore. I’m glad you allowed yourself to believe that. Rise from your own self-pity and read; collect knowledge on the problems Baltimore is facing before you go on another expletive filled rant.

      What would you want Obama to do to fix race relations? What should he do to “alleviate the problems in Black communities”? The presidency is not a monarchy, just look at how much trouble he has getting any legislature passed. He’s not perfect, there isn’t a single politician that is but calling him an “Uncle Tom sellout” is a reach. But you revert to name-calling and pouting so…okay.

      • ShelbyCourtland May 5, 2015 / 10:54 pm

        “Korean-Americans were particularly hard-hit: They run many small businesses in black neighborhoods in Baltimore, and there have been tensions between owners and residents.”

        “In the 1990s, according to a 2004 study by the Maryland Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, there were complaints by residents over the quality of food sold in local stores, while owners expressed concerns about crimes targeting them and their businesses.”

        “Many stricken businesses are owned by immigrants — about half by Koreans, Hogan said.”

        “Pakistani immigrant Rashid Khan reopened his corner grocery store”
        http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/04/30/baltimore-riot-damage-adds-burden-to-small-businesses

        Oh, I should really, really cry for the Koreans and the Pakistanis that treated Black people like dirt. I lived in Baltimore for 9 years and I know of the tensions of which they speak between the two groups. The Koreans and the Pakistanis love the money from the Black people; opening their liquor stores and over-priced convenience stores. No loss! Most of that area was trashed already. No one is talking about the fact that urban blight was already an issue. The majority of that area was either boarded up or is a haven for drug addicts because poverty is so bad, there are mostly drug dealers and addicts left. The whites are already getting that area set for gentrification so as to run the few remaining Black people up out of there, just as what is going down in every major Black city all across this country. Just look at what went down in New Orleans and Detroit

        Baltimore looked like war-torn Iraq long before a few fires were set.

        Offered credit? Are you serious? Delusional much? I would say, “Yes!” As for my expletive laced ‘rants’ ‘tirades’ or whatever you prefer to call them, at least I am not, nor have I ever been delusional and clueless when it comes to realizing just what this country has always stood for and will continue to stand for and I would not hold my breath if I were you waiting on a big group hug and ‘kumbaya’ moment to hit Blacks and whites so that they come together over their differences. And if like you say, I am filled with ‘self-pity,’ so be it but at the same time, I pity those that are fool enough to think that for one second they actually count in this hole.

        And I stand by every single word that I typed relative to Barack Obama. He asks as though he IS an emperor when he wants to; signing executive orders when he wants to detain someone in a foreign prison that has not been charged with a crime and is not given due process. He has no problem ordering drones to strike and kill innocent people in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and the list goes on and on. He stated when he first ran for president that he was tired of wars but has more conflicts going at once than George Bush did. He’s not making friends out of those people in the Middle East by continuing to drop bombs on them, he’s making more enemies. It is his Administration that had no problem seeing to it that military equipment from Iraq and Afghanistan is on the streets of every city in America. Why do we need mine resistant vehicles and grenade launchers? Why do we need equipment that has been used in war on the streets of America? Yeah! Continue to sing the national anthem as you march and salute as a mine resistant military vehicle that will be used to patrol your city drives by.

        Continue with your illusion of Utopia! I’m done!

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