It’d be disingenuous to simply allow my weekly blog post queue to continue without commenting on the situation in Baltimore. Though I don’t live in the city (and therefore have the luxury of avoiding the focal points of recent events), I work and play in the city. Today’s events occurred a mere five minute drive from where I work.
I will be clear on a few points.
- What’s unfolding is the direct result of systematic oppression and injustice. It’s a response to decades of non-response. Said non-response is an aftershock of slavery and white supremacy.
- Fully grasping what’s going on requires a nuanced understanding of history and intersectionality that I, as a middle-class white girl, will never truly know or experience.
- It’s been…interesting, to say the least, seeing people who I’ve never seen discuss similar issues suddenly having an opinion about the property damage. Was it the property damage that prompted speaking out and not someone losing their life under a brutal police system?
- Re: point #3, Dear Christians: when were we taught to value broken things that can be repaired over broken spines that cannot be repaired?
- I have offered my home to friends and coworkers who live in the city and do not feel safe.
- My opinion on property damage doesn’t matter, but I understand its message as best as I can. It’s indiscriminate just as systematic oppression is indiscriminate. In other words, it makes no distinction between “innocent” cars, businesses, etc., and “guilty” ones. All are targets and subject to destruction. The metaphor is clear enough to me, though I’m not interested in debating its effectiveness or its rightness/wrongness.
- I am immensely proud to be part of the United Church of Christ, which always aims to be ever more present in dialogue and action in circumstances such as these.
- I am not angry, disgusted, or afraid.
Now, I will link to several articles that I’ve read over the past few days. I will probably update this list as things unfold.
Livestreams of events may be running at Revolution News.
Lastly, everyone, especially those who can’t see what’s happening with any clarity, would do well to complete this checklist.
With all of this happening, I have to admit that a lot of what I do here on this blog seems very trivial. Diverse representation in stories is, in some ways, an easy topic. The messages are easier to swallow when it’s in the context of a story that one can analyze. Yet I’d be remiss to suggest that representation is the solution to these wider problems. The hope, of course, is that representation will make it easier for the next generation (including cops) to see POC and other minorities as human, thereby reducing such treatment and gradually ending these systems, but the need is much too immediate to await such delayed justice. From this perspective, talking about intersectionality in fictional stories seems very far removed. However, I still believe in its effectiveness, even if those effects are long-term. Studying stories through intersectional lenses is just one of many approaches needed to work at the same time to make things better.
This isn’t the first time I’ve linked this song and it won’t be the last.