Monday, April 27, 2015

Hello?? There were no riots in Baltimore on Saturday night!

OK, I have to write this, since so many people from elsewhere in the country have gotten in touch with me to ask if I'm all right.

Dear god, yes. Yes!

The media has blown this completely out of proportion. Repeat after me: THERE WERE NO RIOTS IN BALTIMORE ON SATURDAY NIGHT! (Saturday, April 25, 2015)

I was downtown with husband and friends Saturday night, exactly two blocks northeast of where the supposed "rioting" was going on. We saw and heard nothing. If there was rioting, don't you think we would have noticed?

What happened was that small pockets of assholes -- men, of course -- decided to become violent and started trashing things. Out of a protest of over 1,200 peaceful people, a dozen or so vandalized property and started throwing punches. 

And they didn't, in case it needs to be said, kill anybody, unlike the cops who killed Freddie Gray.

The protest didn't "turn violent." A few knuckleheads turned violent.

Furthermore, the cops, in full riot gear, roughed up a City Paper photographer and a Reuters reporter.

If you watch this video, you'll see two things:

1) The cops start charging into the crowd. I've watched this happen at other demonstrations. It's scary, as it's meant to be. The cops do this to provoke a reaction. They start shoving people, and if you happen to get shoved and don't move out of their way fast enough, they arrest you. I've watched this happen elsewhere with my own eyes. I always get the hell out of the way cause I'm scared shitless to get beaten up. But when they start shoving, depending where you are, it can be impossible to escape. You can be squeezed in the crowd. Watch what they do in this video. 

2) Listen to the woman yelling, "Stop throwing things! Stop throwing things! That's not what we're here for!"

Actual protesters, as opposed to violent dicks, repeatedly, not just in this one instance, stopped or tried to stop people from destroying things. As usual, a few goobers fuck things up for everyone else.

Put this thing in perspective, people. And quit believing the ridiculous hype of the news media.

As for the intensely, nakedly racist comments at the Baltimore Sun's on-line discussions -- always, of course, from people too gutless to write under their real names -- it's obvious they don't care about black people getting killed, only white people. They state it outright. I don't hear the howls of outrage when crowds of drunken white men rampage through neighborhoods on St. Patrick's Day, destroying property in their supposed revelry.

They don't care to learn why people in this city might be angry. Nobody's going into their neighborhoods to kill people for "making eye contact." Or arrest them for jaywalking

When cops arrest a man for jaywalking, they are not in "an untenable position." They are being assholes. They're exercising power for the sake of exercising power. They aren't up in Roland Park or Charles Village or Canton or Guilford arresting people for jaywalking. They're storming into neighborhoods -- particular neighborhoods -- to mess with people. Because they can. (And obviously, for god's sake, not all cops do this.)

What authoritarians and bootlickers never acknowledge is that this behavior by our hyper-militarized police is going on all over the country. Cops are harassing and maiming and murdering white people, Hispanic people, you-name-it people all over the country. This is as much a class issue as a race issue. In huge swaths of this country, rural areas where there are few black people, the cops are roughing up and violating plenty of white people, too. 

So you can't "Other" your way out of this. This is policing in 21st century America. It's deliberate. It's abusive. And sooner or later, it's coming to a neighborhood near you.