Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising
I chose to use the word uprising, as too often it seems as though the media paints Blacks and other minorities as rioters and looters, while when White people react to...a World Series win, they are sports fans.
I know that people seem to be having a hard time understanding the citizens "destroying their city," but in their minds, they are taking their city back. They are claiming power over a system that has had too much power over them. As a Black female who has experienced racism firsthand, subtly and explicitly, I can understand the anger and the frustration.
I don't know what more I can say on the topic other than the institutionalized racism is so ingrained in our society and our authority figures (in this case, the police), that it seems impossible that anything will change. This, coupled with the fact that the dominant group, White Americans, will be minorities within the next 30 years, is terrifying; having that much power concentrated in a soon-to-be small group, will prove to be detrimental for race relations and equality.
If there is anything people should take away from this situation, it is that Blacks are being denied due process and dying in police custody or at the hands of officers while unarmed at a higher rate than Whites. This is a symptom of the systemic White privilege that runs through American society.
Many American citizens are making this a binary issue between Whites and Blacks, but Blacks are not the only minority group to rise up against police brutality. The Hmong community has experienced police brutality through victims such as Fong Lee and Koua Moua. They protested in Hmong and English, but -- possibly due to the prevailing assumption that Asians are the "model minority" -- their plight was not broadcast globally on CNN and did not receive much attention. “In the United States the dominant discourse on race focuses on blacks and whites. Race relations, racial inequality, and conceptualizations of race are all understood largely in terms of the black-white racial paradigm (Hune 1995)” (Lee, 2009, p.4). Hell, Asian Americans were thought to have good cultures and strong families whereas blacks were not (Lee, 2009). This notion only adds to the fact that there are such strained relations among Whites and Blacks in America, and has been as such for centuries, with Blacks continuing to be labeled as genetically and "biologically violent," it is easy to prey on these outdated, dehumanizing notions to promote fear, foster ignorance, and ignite hate.
What all of this means to me, is that marginalized people are sick and tired of not being heard, of being killed, beaten and tortured by a society that is supposed to protect them. We are tired of the double standards for Whites and minorities. A common theme has emerged on several social media sites that because of Freddie Gray's long wrap sheet, which included drug dealing, he deserved to die, when Whites are just as guilty of drug dealing and use, but Blacks are more likely to be arrested for this offense than Whites. So because of that he should die? Really? If that is how the law is carried out, millions would be dead. These people who posts things of this nature also claim to be patriots, but apparently believe Blacks are undeserving of due process, a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT! What is wrong with our society? What is wrong with humanity?
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