Because I follow a variety of folks on twitter, I get to read a variety of opinions on major news topics. As the riots were occurring in Baltimore I was doing a lot of live tweeting and two of my Tweeps were having a difference of opinion of what we were all witnessing on live TV. I asked them both to write a short piece to contribute to this blog for the purposes of starting a conversation. I ask that you respect and consider both essays and debate respectfully as these are invited guests to the site.
By Tobacco Rhoda
Today, we got to see what our cities would look like with the cops hobbled. Pretty, no? MSNBC’s Ed Schultz looks damned moronic for suggesting we disarm our cops. Presumably he has a plan to disarm the criminals too, but he’s keeping those cards close to his vest.
One of the most enduring memes of the riot apologists is that police departments are rife with white people who just decide to randomly kill black people, completely, utterly, unprovoked. It’s the Mike Brown syndrome. Every arrestee has there hands up and didn’t do nuttin. And even though the Justice Department cleared that cop, these people today continue to cite it as a reason for their anger. Justice said as clearly as the PC mavens would allow them, that Mike Brown showed the same aggression toward authority that’s so gloriously on display in Baltimore, and it got him killed.
My position is that there are some bad cops, and there are some bad people, and when they meet, bad things happen. Unfortunately, it appears police get jaded by policing an essentially hostile neighborhood and fall into the trap of thinking ‘everybody is guilty of trying to kill me and I’m going to operate under that assumption’. It’s an understandable mindset because it’s demonstrable, but it produces victims of police brutality and is dangerous to the cops themselves. If it is found that the police purposely hurt Freddie Grey, they will pay for it. Hell, Officer Wilson paid for it in Ferguson, and he was exonerated. I like to call that outcome Innocent but Fucked.
The incident where the cop shot that fleeing man in the back was horrendous, and that cop will be punished for it, as he should if no extenuating circumstance emerges.
Here’s a thought. If you don’t tolerate your neighborhoods becoming havens for drug dealers, prostitutes and gangs, you probably aren’t going to have to deal with many cops. Also, if those neighborhoods weren’t so flush with criminal elements, chances are, you won’t be assumed to be a criminal just by virtue of your skin color. Even Jesse Jackson has admitted he profiles when he walks down a dark street. Apparently someone has slipped him the statistics for black on black violence.
If this is about killer cops, why are the rioters currently trying to kill the firefighters? Why are they cutting the fire hoses so that the businesses in their own neighborhoods burn? Is there some dark cabal of racist murderous firefighters who have escaped the notice of everyone but thugs?
Currently, I’m watching a ‘protester’ on my TV who is OUTRAGED that he got hit with a beanbag. When asked what he was doing when he was shot, he said they were throwing bricks at the police. And yes, he said it without a trace of irony. Completely clueless that he deserved the beanbag, in fact he should have been grateful they didn’t shoot his dumb ass. He is symptomatic of the current mindset. No matter what he does, he thinks he should be bulletproof. Because …HE MAD. The mayor feels he should have a place to destroy things until he’s not mad anymore. She’s helpful. Heavily sedated, but helpful.
In Ferguson, the problem, we were informed, was the white police force in a black town. Baltimore has a majority black police force, police commissioner, mayor, city council, president, and attorney general. And surprise! The exact same grievances.
Finally, their are legitimate grievances in some of these incidents. This country has a mechanism in place for those grievances. Because, Constitution. Admittedly, peaceful protest isn’t nearly as sexy as burning an old folks home, but it’s more effective. If they’re even worried about being effective vs looting for liquor and toilet paper.
I await the tar and feathers.
By Isayaah Parker
Check out his blog Moods of Isayaah here
The media would have the gullible to believe that what is happening in Baltimore is unorganized chaos, violence by “Black thugs” who are merely opportunists waiting to fuck shit up. However, what is occurring in Baltimore and across our nation of brutality is an outraged that reaches back so far, so deep, that a quick soundbite from a Pastor cannot explain. We are forgetting the slain. We are so fixed on burning buildings and teenagers behaving badly that we have chosen to ignore the police who have behaved badly. The government which has behaved badly to a race of people for centuries.
I choose to focus on systemic racism and the problem with crooked police forces attacking young black men, stop and frisk policies in New York, and a fleet of other issues that effect people of color who are guilty until proven guilty. People who are instantly deemed thugs while White college students fucking shit up after a game are just rowdy college kids. The issues of systemic racism are never looked at during these times because we are too focused on frozen pizzas, looted from CVS, and burning buildings. Black bodies are dead on the streets but we care more about buildings. I do not excuse damaging your own neighborhood in the midst of outrage, that energy should be directed at the seats of oppression. We need to be downtown, voicing our outrage at the seats of oppression, otherwise known as the government, police headquarters and judicial buildings, but certainly not damaging those buildings, because justice cannot be served if there exists no building to carry it through.
However, we must seek to understand and resolve WHY these so called “thugs” are behaving badly, where does this outrage come from? Why are cities, one after another taking to the streets? I’ve been nearly arrested for trying on clothes at a department store, thrown against a car because it just had to be stolen since a young black man with braids was in it. There are a lot of issues. A man stealing a frozen pizza from CVS is not the issue. I will not contribute to this FOX NEWS bullshit of BLACK ANIMALS looting and behaving badly when it would have never happened had the SYSTEM acted fairly. Buildings would not have burned had the genocide of young black men been swept under the rug. Rocks would not be thrown at police if they didn’t throw bricks at children first, do your research before believing editing images on the 6 o’clock news. There has been a mass manipulation of Black economic opportunities, forged by the powers that be. That is why many Blacks are fed up, that is why Blacks are hitting the streets and that is why there outrage is causing Whites and Uncle Toms to become uncomfortable. There will no longer be business as usual. We want change. The kind of change that Obama has NOT delivered. The kind of change that the mayor of Baltimore cannot deliver because the White republican governor won’t let her. This is not about trash on the street, this is about a people who are deemed disposable by a government system Hell bent on keeping them dead, delinquent and destitute.
Tamara Tattles greatly appreciates both contributors to post. I think it is important to view these situations from a variety of perspectives. The opinions expressed here are entirely those of the authors and not the opinion of this website.