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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. Re: point #3, Dear Christians: when were we taught to value broken things that can be repaired over broken spines that cannot be repaired?
  5. I have offered my home to friends and coworkers who live in the city and do not feel safe.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Clergy March Together in Solidarity

“Why Do They Burn Down Their Own Neighborhood?”

10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest in Baltimore

Why Freddie Gray Ran

Baltimore’s Broken Relationship With Police

Bloods and Crips Team Up to Protest Baltimore’s Cops

Freddie Gray not the first to come out of Baltimore police van with serious injuries

The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore

Orioles COO speaks about protests

White People Rioting for No Reason

Cops on Inside Streets

Nonviolence as Compliance

Obama Calls Out America for Not Caring About Issues that Led to Riots

The Unseen Baltimore: What Residents Are Doing This Morning

10 Images of Baltimore Riots You Won’t See on TV

Why Baltimore Burned

Another article on the history of Baltimore’s police brutality

Baltimore imposes bail bonds of half a million dollars

Onion article: Baltimore residents urged to stay indoors until social progress takes its natural course

Eyewitnesses report that police were present in riot gear at Mondawmin Mall before student uprising began

Satire: How the media talks about white people

Transgender woman arrested in Baltimore forced to stay in male holding cell

Vive la Révolution: Our Love/Hate Relationship With Violent Rebellion

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.

Will the circle be unbroken?


One thought on “Baltimore.

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