I have been contemplating for days how I could attack this piece, this war is actually happening in my home. Baltimore, Maryland is where I was born, raised, and still residing. Everything changes when home is invaded. I watched in terror when we watched Ferguson go mad due to the injustice that served our young, black brother Travon Martin……………but Freddie Gray was here…..home…..Baltimore. I sat in tears with my water filled eyes fixated on the television on April 27 as citizens and children destroyed, torched, stole, and looted the city after Freddie’s funeral. I could not believe that we were witnessing first handedly this type of demonstration. The previous weekend I sat in the same spot explaining to my children why it was important for us as a people to peacefully protest for our fallen son, Freddie Gray. A week prior he was killed in police custody, suffering a fatal spine injury. How does a perfectly able bodied young man end up with 80% of his spine broken in police custody? How the hell does that happen? Of course we know…..police brutality. Sadly, I’m NO stranger to this reality, growing up in Baltimore City, I have witness friends and family (especially young, black males) get harassed and beaten by police. Unfortunately, Baltimoreans are accustomed to the habitual abuse at the hands of law enforcement. The blood of the much causality as the result of VIOLENCE haunts my community and covers our Baltimore streets. That very truth allows the stigma that Baltimore is nothing more than a riotous, ungovernable, and unrestrained community to stay alive.
The bestiality that my hometown has resorted to is nothing different from the history that has been laid before us. Years of slavery, brute force, and inhumane treatment has been African American’s truth for hundreds of years. Fighting back is something we have been force to do. How long are you going to let someone slap you before you slap them back? Do I appreciate my city being destroyed and torched? HELL NO! Do I condone small businesses being ransacked? HELL NO! But, violence has been the fire behind change for years. Slavery ended because of WAR, innocent people sacfriced their life with their blood to end it. Radical protest has ended injustices of segration. Even peaceful demonstrations and sit ins resulted in violence just because whites resented the fact that we fought back. Every major accomplishment in history has been engulfed in BLOOD, this situation is no difference. The war against police brutality will have to take the same stance and I that is very unfortunate. The causalities have been many and tragic, but the national platform that the death of Trayvon Martin provided has brought this issue to the forefront. The same way Freddie Gray has brought the habitual act of police brutality towards Baltimore City to the forefront. No, the fact that a life has been wrongfully will never change….but, it will never be in vain. We will seek freedom, we will seek equality, a change will come. I AM BALTIMORE. YOU ARE BALTIMORE. If you are a minority, poverty stricken, resources limited, seek change and social class is other than RICH…..you are BALTIMORE.