Yesterday Baltimore’s Finest’s victims of police discrimination and brutality, namely, the poor African-American population of the city’s West End, took a violent stand against their oppressors. And all I hear from yesterday to today is the condemnation of the violent actions and the damage it has done to the movement’s image and goals.
But what about the emotion? What about the anger and the rage? Should it not be expressed through these actions?
When you hear everyone criticizing the rioters’ actions they assume that they are rational actors with set goals and objectives. But they were not rational yesterday. The ages of discrimination against blacks needed to be released, almost as catharsis, by these enraged masses with earned distrust and hatred for the police. Freddy Gray’s death just brought these emotions to the fore.
And as for the request by the Gray family for protests to be quieted for the day in honor of Gray’s funeral was irrelevant. The issue is bigger than Gray’s death. It’s about police discrimination, not just the tragic death of a single person. Gray’s death was just the spark and it is now a raging wildfire.