The whole world is watching Baltimore. There have been a million spun stories, a million think pieces trying to explain what’s going on, live tweets and pictures from those on the front lines, and plenty of spectators making judgements from the comforts of their couches. I don’t think it would be possible for me to come up with something original to say that hasn’t already been said. But I would be remiss if I didn’t at least say this:
This isolated incidence of rioting (resulting in only property damage) in no way absolves the United States and the citizens therein from acknowledging and eradicating the systems that have resulted in the genocide, oppression, economic deprivation, and psychological abuse that black people have endured for centuries in this country. We have had enough of being reduced to talking heads and political theater. These are real people, with real issues that will continue past the 15 minutes of hysteria inducing speech on FOX and CNN. We cannot be so haughty as to dismiss the legitimate outcries of the citizens of this country as mere savagery. At some point, we have all experienced the turmoil of feeling unseen, unheard, while the world stands by unconcerned. Imagine the pain of staring into the eyes of those who have the resources to help you while you are sinking, but choose instead to spit on you and watch you drown, or worse: pretend you’re not there at all. That is the harsh reality of the oppressed in this country. In these instances, without proper help, attention, or intervention, we either explode or implode. How can these particular people be expected to behave any differently?
Nothing anyone can say or do can bring back those whose lives have been lost to police brutality (or for any reason). Only time can heal the broken hearts and families left after tragedies such as these. In any event, we will continue to #PrayForBaltimore. But let’s not stop at praying. Faith without works is dead. Let these repeated displays of disregard for the law, justice, and human life be the push we need to get actively involved in our communities and work for change. Everyday we enjoy liberties that were paid for with the time and sacrifices of others. When we organize, put our work boots on, and roll up our sleeves, we honor the legacy of those who did not get to see the fruits of their labor, but persevered with us in mind. Everyone has so much to say about what’s going on. I think it’s only appropriate to ask what are we going to DO about it?
And for those who are actively engaged and know of events, organizations where folks can get involved, leave them in the comments, please.
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#blacklivesmatter #baltimoreuprising #DOsomething