Monday, May 4, 2015
THE COLOR OF BALTIMORE
We all remember Laurence Fishburne yelling this famous line from the Spike Lee movie, School Daze. I can remember the discussions about what it meant in terms of social order and cinema.
Now, I hear that yell every time I read about Baltimore.
Another black boy has been killed by police, only this time, he died in the hands of black cops and black political power. Finally, the issue of race has not hidden the bigger picture and problems of our people (the Black people) and the nation.
Three of the six officers were black, the second degree murder charge is on a black man. The mayor, police chief, council chief and prosecuting attorney are all black. And no one in our media is talking about this in a meaningful way. They mention it as if it's some kind of ironic twist or a piece of lint on a lapel that can be brushed off.
Well, it's not. It is the most important fact in this tragedy. And to treat it as such, focuses attention on things that could actually lead individuals to change.
Black elected officials are no different than white elected officials. They all serve the same master and do what they are told. The presence of black faces in government does not ease poverty, unfair world trade or corporate greed and avarice. Baltimore saw that and now all of us do as well.
But will we wake up? Will we move beyond the silly and circular arguments about race and see that it is but one link in the chain that binds us? Will we arise from our slumber and face our citizenship in this nation which makes war in the name of a freedom which is not granted to its own citizens?
Please let us not use Baltimore to prove that the evil white man is behind it all or that the incompetent black people caused it. Baltimore's black faces prove that race is not the issue here. The consistent lack of humanity in our atiquated system of government and economics is the real evil.
Or is it the fact that we are still asleep?