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Baltimore's Language of the Unheard


Baltimore's Language of the Unheard

With Baltimore's street violence receding, residents are laboring to clean up its debris and clear up its lessons in the face of what many charge is willfully skewered coverage ensuring "you only see what they want you to see." Officials calling for "order" and "non-violence," they say, miss the context of the rage: A state that persistently represses, abuses and kills its citizens has abrogated its right to demand those victims behave better than it does.


Good selection.

The closing quote from Coates is not cited (it is linked, but there should be a citation here), so it reads as if it were a continuation of the quote from MLK.


Great quote by MLK Jr. Thanks CD.

Obama: " no excuse for this violence " . What a hypocritical statement! There is absolutely no excuse for the violence of the Baltimore police!
" When non-violence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of police brutality, it betrays itself ."


I heard this on PBS-News Hour today. Ms Coates is a writer for The Atlantic. She speaks directly to the problem of TV video news reporting: LACK OF CONTEXT.

"TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think, like, the way we often approach this is like, what would we like to see? And we all would like to see a protest that is nonviolent. I think everybody can agree with that.

I think everybody can say that when they see a CVS burning down or any sort of violent response, none of us are joyous about that. But the response of people on the street is not an independent variable. It doesn’t exist independently of the actions of other forces.

The fact of the matter is, the violence in Baltimore didn’t begin with the protesters on Tuesday. The actions, as Lester just outlined, in terms of people trying to get some attention, pay attention to the actions of the police in Baltimore, didn’t begin with the protest. The violence started with the actual police.

Freddie Gray wasn’t the first person. It’s just that the cameras suddenly arrived when the CVS starts burning down. And that’s where we begin the narrative. And what I’m trying to say is that, you know, we have to adopt a longer view of history. We have to get beyond just these sort of blanket condemnations of people in the street and say, well, why is this happening?

How can it be that we’re almost two weeks after Freddie Gray was taken into custody, and we still don’t know how he died? How can that be? That is just unconscionable."

I am dismayed at the statements made by the new AG Ms Lynch. This is all so exactly like all government responses over the last 5 decades when the people are finally fed up and violence happens. In the '60’s the government did not act until the long-suffering black community threatened to explode because of the violence done to them by the KKK, police, and real thugs. Over 4 decades later relations between the government and minority communities have fallen to a new low. Back then, violence happened before government responded. Today, violence happened. What will government do now?

Obama’s statement, OMG, really Mr President there is an excuse for violence. It is needed to force government to act to make right a very wrong situation.

All this has the signs of a broken society. The good, ordinary people must rally, protest, and yes get violent to start the process of putting the pieces back together. As Ms Coates says, we’d all like to believe that non-violence will bring change, but sometimes it isn’t enough. And when we will know why Freddie Gray died?