Let me say this to help put some things about the Baltimore protesting into perspective…
What if a woman was being beaten by her husband day-in and day-out?
What if she tried time and time again to talk to him, politely asking him to stop?
What if she tried to alter her behavior to keep from provoking him?
What if she tried to find an escape but saw no way out?
What if, no matter what she did, the beatings just wouldn’t stop.
What if one day, she went off on him and went upside his head, would you be mad at her?
No, of course not. You know that when someone is backed into a corner and has tried all other resources to avoid conflict, it’s only going to be so long before they fight back. What we’re seeing right now, in Baltimore, is the equivalent of a battered woman fighting back and saying, “No more!” People ask why they’re resorting to violence, but what other options do they and most of Black America have at this point to be heard and to make the senseless violence that has been perpetrated on us stop?
Do you know how many years people of African descent have begged and pleaded to be treated humanely?
Do you know how many of us have gotten law degrees and gone into government to pass laws and legislation to protect ourselves?
Do you know how many decades parents have lectured their children to remain peaceful, and be respectful and “respectable” enough so that we don’t get gunned down in the streets?
Do you know how many times pastors and community leaders have encouraged us to uphold to standards that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. set for us, inspite of the inhumane treatment we receive?
Black Americans have been backed into a corner by the senseless violence and abuse that we face and for so long we’ve been trying every other possible resource to avoid conflict. What you’re witnessing now are people so tired of being beaten down, and feeling that they have no other recourse, they’re finally fighting back. I hate that it has to resort to this, but I can’t be mad at the people of Baltimore right now, just like I wouldn’t be mad at a battered woman fighting for her life.