Candidly Elle

I'm just a girl in love with words and sentences.

Baltimore Riots: Violence is not the answer.

I once thought we lived in a peaceful civilized country.  But, I was wrong that was a sheltered existence that my parents gave and my naiveté believed and soaked it all in.  Now in the wake of the latest murders of Freddie Gray and Walter Scott before that Michael Brown who raised his hands shouting “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting“. It’s hard to think about MLK’s dream…because the content of ones character is out the window and the color of ones skin is the still of the utmost importance.  When will this country realized that we are much stronger united as will fall divided. I think about my son, with his pale skin and brown eyes and I wonder if the world will change in ten years? I have also been told that I don’t have to worry about the “Black man’s plight” because my son is half white.  Bullets are colorblind, therefore I worry.

As a society we need to understand that violence is just not the answer. When I think of the Civil Rights era, the anniversary of Selma and the dream that Dr. King had, it just doesn’t correlate with how we live in the twenty-first century. There is a way towards coexistence, if we all took time to put away our misgivings about each other as a race to realize that our bodies bleed the same blood. I don’t think this is the dream that Dr. King spoke about. Tearing down your own neighborhood isn’t going to provide you with the answers. What happened to Freddie Grey is a complete devastation; however if you want answers there is a way to seek them. The old proverb “Speak softy and carry a big stick.” Weighs heavily on the riots in Baltimore. You can cautiously and respectfully stand your ground while only using violence as a necessity. Don’t judge an entire group of policemen on the merit of a couple of bad seeds.

Freddie Gray’s death was a terrible occurrence in a society, where some feel as though black lives don’t matter. As a black woman I find this disheartening that the police still feel as though they are invincible. We vote people in office to serve and protect, not kill and cover up. History is repeating itself and not in the most appealing way. I have my own views on this situation; however many have told me I that I don’t understand the “plight of a black man”, because my son is multi-racial and he looks Caucasian. That maybe true to some extent but I still worry as any mother would when my son walks out of the front door in the morning for school. We are still judged by the color of our skin and not the content of our character. So I challenged that notion of not having the right or not “understanding the struggle” I am the sister, aunt, daughter and cousin of many black men. I have one brother and God forbid he is stop and judged solely by the skin color he had no choosing in. I asked when is enough going to be enough? The Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doesn’t seem to have control of her city with the statements she’s been making about giving the looters “space to destroy“. Violence is not the answer, looting solves what problem? Take what we learned from Ferguson. Tearing up the city will not incite change.

Our ancestors had to fight for rights against racial intolerance and prejudice. Burning down your neighbors and looting in your city isn’t going to make the situation better. Violence is not a means to solution. Rioting and looting the streets will only harm the community. Also, the looting that you see on the television is not colorblind, whites and blacks are out there tearing apart the streets damaging the community. If you want change, use your voice and vote! Get an education, run for office. Hit society with words of empowerment. None of this will bring Freddie Grey, Mike Brown, Walter Scott or Trayvon Martin back from the dead. So, instead of the riots why don’t we vote the right people in office and inspire change. Make them do the jobs they were voted in to do. Don’t allow another mother to bury a son for injustice.

Thanks for reading,

Elle

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