Civil rights

Baltimore is Burning

Freddie Gray Protest in Baltimore

Baltimore is burning, but not because of the fires set by a few protesters. It is on fire with the passion and rage of the people, who have had enough of a gestapo police force that re-enforces the unequal, bigoted, exploitative status quo. Baltimore, Ferguson, New York, the police torture in Chicago, the police state in Oakland, the lynching of black men by the police and by vigilante minded white men. CNN b**ches and moans about the burning of a CVS and the cutting of a hose as though this is some sign of the collapse of Western Christian society, but the murder, by having his spine severed in custody, of a young black man by the police is cast in a moral shade of grey. Freddie Grey is just a new name on a long list of black men terrorized and murdered by mob justice, vigilantism, and police authority. The bodies of black men are considered weapons, are seen as dangerous, a threat. The black mind is dismissed as cultish, brutish, without thought or nuance, by pigs in blue who barely understand the Constitution they swear to uphold. The intelligence and wisdom, the genius, of an entire people is dismissed because of skin hue, and a history that white hands and white minds set in motion.

Baltimore is burning, but the fires were set 400 years ago when the first white man dragged the first black man in chains from HMS White Lion. The flames were stoked by 250 more years of chattel slavery, rape, torture, white supremacy and greed. The nation that was created “by the people, for the people” was actually an empire forged “by the slave, for the rich and white”, a fact acknowledged and enshrined in the Constitution of this country. The moral cowardice, and avarice, of our Founders extended the holocaust of American slavery for another hundred years. The craven political whims of the post-civil war generation helped to extend the terror of white supremacy long after slavery was officially abolished. Rights were issued in name only, while in fact black bodies found themselves re-categorized from property to vermin, and this in a nation that was BUILT by black bodies. The entire history of the United States has been one long, ongoing larceny perpetrated by whites against people any color but white, any gender but male.

Baltimore is burning, but the powers that be, and their pet media, do not weep for the people, do not strive to sooth their pain. They instead seek to protect property, to preserve the same order that is nothing but a boot on the necks of the black people of Baltimore, of the US. The media act as those peace and calm have been disrupted. The people of Baltimore, especially the people of color, know that there was never any peace to interrupt, there never has been. Every day another insult to dignity, every interaction with the capitalist owned government and with their police army another punch in the gut, a reminder that people of color indeed have “no rights which the white man was bound to respect” (a reminder from on high, straight from the mouth of one of the members of our sainted Supreme Court). White eyes watch black bodies act out in rage, desperation, pathos and righteous fury, and the only question on their lips is “what do those people have to complain about?”. “They” destroy “their” own neighborhoods, an unwitting admission by white citizens of the continuing presence and reality of Jim Crow in our cities, towns, and villages. What the law now condemns the culture denies, a reality of pain and hate and repression that is justified because “we” gave “them” what “they” wanted back in the 60’s…as though dignity and respect and justice were something whites must bestow upon blacks, a belated gift that arrived late but “just in time” to be a salve for white liberal guilt. Baltimore is burning, but is the hearts and minds and souls of the people that are on fire now.


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