Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Baltimore Mess

I have once again subjected myself to tedium and irrelevance by watching Meet the Press. Chuck Todd, the host, grilled the Mayor of Baltimore. Grilled her over and over about protestors, people in the streets who rioted and looted. But he has no grilling for the police. He showed a clip of Baltimore’s police commissioner saying the six police officers charged with crimes against Freddie Gray did nothing wrong. Really? The man committed no crime. He was in possession of a legal knife folded and in a holster not a switchblade as the police and the media announced. He asked for medical help right after he was handcuffed. They drove him all over Baltimore banging around in the back of a van with his hands and feet shackled. He asked over and over while in the van for medial help and was denied it each time. He lost consciousness in the van. He went into a coma at the hospital and died. But the police did nothing wrong?

What happened in Baltimore is not about black poverty. It’s not about criminal gangs running the streets. It’s not about single parent homes. It is about institutional racism. It’s about the police in this country who believe they are above the law. It’s about authoritarianism. It’s about a mindset in the nation now that says authority, the police, are without fault no matter what they do to people, especially to minorities, most especially to blacks, even if they beat them to death, break their spine, or shoot them in the back.

This country has some sort of military fixation that says we are at war with minorities. They are enemies. And it’s perfectly fine in war to do whatever you want to these people because they do not matter.

Chuck Todd and his kind perpetuate this stuff by blabbering on and on about poverty and looting and what in the world are we going to do about all of this crime? You know what? Have some courage. Show you are an intelligent person. Call in the police commissioner and ask him why his officers are killing people. Why they brutalize and harass and lock up blacks for petty offenses or just make up stuff in order to arrest them. Quit hiding behind your white privilege and fear that if you ask any hard questions of the police you’ll get in trouble with your sponsors and the big shot white men who run your show.

When are we going to actually grow up as a nation, actually be the moral and model country we keep saying we are, and stop treating minorities, especially black people, like they have no worth at all?

When, for God’s sake, will we do that?

© 2015 Timothy Moody

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