Wednesday, April 29, 2015


"…I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality, and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Back in August I wrote a post on racial inequality in America.  It is a subject I am passionate about and one I have discussed in detail with my class this semester.  In August I hoped there would be change, and yet here we are again.  Another city in the US filled with protests and riots.  Another example of people finally breaking under the strain of inequality.  I am at a loss for words, but others are not. Below are a few quotes with links to original articles that are discussing what is going on in Baltimore.

"What's crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out."  (article continues on to outline just some of the horrific police misconduct that has happened in Baltimore over the last several years)
-The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore (via the Atlantic)

"Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations [ against the Baltimore Police Department]. Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson .... And in almost every case, prosecutors or judges dismissed the charges against the victims—if charges were filed at all.

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con."
- Nonviolence as Compliance (via the Atlantic)

"Why do you see destructive rioting and looting? It's not because people think it's the best way to get things done. It's because the people have finally come to realize that no matter what they do, nothing gets done. No matter how loud they scream, the system still crushes them under its weighty wheels."
-An article on white American's response to Baltimore

 I hope you take the time to read the full articles, and please share with me any you think I should read as well.  As a country, we cannot get better unless we truly understand the problem.


  1. To me the people of Baltimore are throwing a tantrum much like a child that doesn't get his/her own way.

    The peaceful protest are similar to a child saying please and thank you and disagreeing with the parent respectfully. The violent protest is the child following down on all fours and kicking and screaming for attention.

    As a parent, I am more apt to listen to the respectful child than I am the tantrum child.

    1. In your example the people of Baltimore are children asking to get their way, and the government represent the role of parents, free to choose yes or no to this request at their discretion. I would prefer not to compare the citizens to children, but if I did I would think of the city's police force as abusive parents. The people of Baltimore have nicely asked again and again to stop being abused, but the abusive parents have ignored them. They have peacefully tried to draw the attention of those outside of their city to the abuse, but none have listened or stepped in to help. Now, at the end of their rope, they are kicking and screaming, trying to get someone to see. In that instance, I think a "tantrum" is a reasonable reaction.

      Read the linked articles above about the Baltimore police. I do not compare them to abusers lightly.