The news headlines have been screaming “Baltimore is Burning,” but the truth is so much more nuanced than that. People are sick and tired of being brutalized and beaten by those who are charged with serving and protecting them. The death of Freddie Gray (after his spinal cord was 80% severed!) by police was the final straw in a city that many of us didn’t realize was so rife with a history of police brutality.
Thanks to The Atlantic’s article, “The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore,” I now understand….
Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson. Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.
As to how those most likely to be treated violently by the police react when the powder keg blows is an issue that I can’t fully comprehend. But Ta-nehisi Coates’ essay, “Nonviolence as Compliance,” also in The Atlantic, sure gave me lots of food for thought…
When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. And none of this can mean that rioting or violence is “correct” or “wise,” any more than a forest fire can be “correct” or “wise.” Wisdom isn’t the point tonight. Disrespect is. In this case, disrespect for the hollow law and failed order that so regularly disrespects the community.
Today, “protesters” armed with brooms and bags took to the streets to clean up the mess left last night, and a peace march is planned for later this afternoon. Find out more and how you can get involved at BaltimoreRising.org.
This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments over marriage equality. Since I just got off the air, I haven’t had much time to look over what’s been written or to listen to the audio yet.. but the audio is now posted.
- Oral argument audio from the first half of Obergefell v. Hodges is here.
- The oral argument audio for the second half of the argument is here.
We’ll dive in tomorrow..
Today on the show, David Cobb of Move to Amend returned to talk about their efforts at a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Well, he’ll be at the House of Representatives tomorrow when Congressmen Nolan, Pocan, Huffman, Cartwright, Grijalva, Ellison introduce the We The People amendment!
And GottaLaff helped us not to cry…
Back tomorrow for more news, snark and opinion, radio or not!