Brainy Quote of the Day

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Long View...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Topics: #BlackLivesMatter, Baltimore, Civil Rights, Commentary

I really get the anger. I've penned it on the anniversary of the surrender of the South in the Civil War, and the needless death of Walter Scott. Dr. King once said: "a riot is the language of the unheard." That I think assumes you've tried - through legitimate means - to have your voice heard.

You seem to have a rich history of rioting: 18121868. If you must get angry: why didn't you ask why the city of Baltimore hasn't fully recovered economically from the riots of 1968 when Dr. King was assassinated? I was five, but I remember that day well: Confederate flags, honking horns riding past my kindergarten, shouting very clearly "I'm glad that n-----r's gone!" Some memories don't leave you. They stay with you and shape your worldview. I remember well the anger from older teenagers that took to the streets in North Carolina, but specifically of note in Baltimore, Maryland. Why haven't you gotten angry with the jobs that have been shipped out of this country to save money on the highest expense of any company: salaries? Why haven't you gotten angry at the substitution of science courses with pseudoscience, that puts this country at a disadvantage globally in the competition for employment and high-paying jobs? Why haven't you gotten angry about the socially-engineered achievement gap that ensures a De Facto apartheid in this country? Why haven't you gotten angry for an increase in the minimum wage, or that some would rather there be NONE? And lastly, why if you're 18, not in at least a two-year college and registered to vote?

How many of you ACTUALLY knew Freddie Gray? Actually went to school with him, or his twin sister? Lived next to him? Attended his funeral? An 80% severed spine is an outrage, and in a sane world, should result in indictments. But the Baltimore Police Department Bill of Rights gives them 10 days before they have to speak to anyone. Hint: that's 10 days to get their story straight; they are suspended with pay. We're 50 years from the 1965 Voting Rights Act, for which the movie Selma dramatized. It's voting the 21st Century Poll Tax cum voter ID laws are trying to inhibit. It's voting, or lack thereof, that determines civilian oversight, and local laws: the Police and/or the Police Association can't come up with that kind of "right" whole cloth. The current law that will soon exist in Maryland is martial...your anger, though genuine, has no more power of resurrection anymore than the anarchy of terrorists will magically form mythical caliphates.

I was angry after Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Rodney King, Travon Martin, Renisha me, I have decades of anger, high blood pressure, feelings of helplessness and sleepless nights over any and all of you. I have children I worry about as well; my lifespan shortens with every report - of yet another senseless death - that always goes national. You now have the Maryland National Guard deployed in your city to restore order. A CVS pharmacy and other businesses burned to the ground. Your grandmothers who had their prescriptions filled there have nowhere to go now. I don't know if indictments will immediately come down (or not), and neither do you. If it does go before a Grand Jury, it is secret by law, the jury of your "peers" will be active, registered voters who've followed this recent news, and possibly not look like you. The social media, political and propaganda machine has already labeled you "thugs." If you had a point, you may have already blown it away like chaff in the wind, and falling into negative stereotypes hasn't proved a good strategy in the long view.

I applaud the peaceful demonstrations; that doesn't mean you can't be angry, paste a placid grin on your faces while singing "we shall overcome." I'm sure Dr. King and a lot of young people who were your age back then bitten, beaten, hosed and jailed, and a lot of them killed had a few instances of being angry. The cameras caught the brutality of authorities against us, and soon turned world opinion against the violence perpetrated on innocent, law-abiding citizens. The cameras are catching your activities as well, it makes for a lot of views on YouTube and negative, stereotypical memes.

Yesterday was the first day of the first African American woman appointed Attorney General, Loretta Lynch (after a woefully sophomoric delay); yesterday was the birthday of Civil Rights activist Coretta Scott King. I'm sure her husband, Dr. King, my older sister who was one of those young people bitten, beaten, hosed and jailed, and a lot of them killed for Civil Rights, Voting Rights were angry - are angry, so you can do property damage, loot for your own benefit; express breathtaking episodes of pyromania and call it "protest."

Sorry for the post-Sunday rant. I'll do physics Wednesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment