I wrote about our very big race problem and police brutality late last year (See: Ferguson & Racial Inequality as a White Person) and I wish there wasn’t anything else to say. But there is, and I could’ve said it a bunch of other times before this, because Freddie Gray isn’t even the victim that came right after Michael Brown.
I don’t know what the answer is, but one thing I do know is that the expectation of fixing this problem can’t be dumped on the people suffering under it. It’s important, as a white person, to listen, and to work for systemic change. The people being victimized under a racist system can’t make the changes on their own and shouldn’t be expected to.
I’ve got lots of recommendations for you to check out regarding Freddie Gray, Baltimore, and what’s happening. First, check out this fantastic profle in The New York Times on Deray and Netta, two activists who’ve been working hard for the cause since August.
‘Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us’ (NYT) – “How a group of black social-media activists built the nation’s first 21st-century civil rights movement.”
On Freddie Gray’s Killing & the Aftermath:
Cops Almost Saved Freddie Gray—and Themselves (The Daily Beast) – “As the Maryland State Attorney read a statement of probable cause, it was clear everything following Freddie Gray’s death could have been prevented.”
How State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby became the hero of Baltimore (Vox) – “Marilyn Mosby stepped up to the podium on Friday to announce the criminal charges her office would file against the officers involved in the arrest that led to Freddie Gray’s death. Within minutes, the Baltimore state’s attorney was a celebrity.”
Bail set for charged Baltimore cops less than what was set for those arrested for rioting (Raw Story) – “The Guardian revealed this week that 18-year-old Allen Bullock , charged with eight criminal counts including rioting and destruction of property after he handed himself in to authorities following his involvement in the unrest, was given $500,000 bail, which his family was unable to pay.”
Did you catch Larry Wilmore’s chat on The Nightly Show with some Baltimore gang members? It’s smart & important. Watch:
“We Ain’t Choosing No Sides; We Just Choosing Our Side” (Medium) – “The gangs of Baltimore believe they can do a better job policing their community than the police.”
Wolf Blitzer interviews Deray McKesson about violence in Baltimore (and Deray is brilliant at not being derailed in his message & THE TRUTH). Watch:
On Baltimore & Related:
The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimord (The Atlantic) – “Years of abuses are every bit as egregious as what the Department of Justice documented in Ferguson, Missouri, and as deserving of a national response.”
Importance of Place: An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty (NYT) – “Among the nation’s 100 largest counties, the one where children face the worst odds of escaping poverty is the city of Baltimore.”
Freddie Gray’s life a study on the effects of lead paint on poor blacks (WaPo) – “The house where Freddie Gray’s life changed forever sits at the end of a long line of abandoned rowhouses in one of this city’s poorest neighborhoods.”
What you really need to know about Baltimore, from a reporter who’s lived there for over 30 years (WaPo) – “It was only a matter of time before Baltimore exploded.”
Growing up between black and white in Baltimore (Al Jazeera America) – “After my family immigrated to Maryland, I internalized the racism that could be turned against me.”