Freddie Gray is dead. Walter Scott is dead. Eric Harris is dead.
Baltimore is dealing with black rage now. I’m reposting my first “Black Rage Rising” post in full, written just last August. Black rage is misunderstood, but as Dr. Martin Luther King prophetically proclaimed, “rioting is the voice of the unheard”.
From last year:
Despite all the media hype about the rioting and looting in Ferguson, MO over the killing of young Mike Brown…the UNARMED Mike Brown by a Ferguson police officer…the bigger news story to me is that it took this long for a violent protest to break out.
Black people. If nothing else, we are a patient people; to wit:
Sean Bell – unarmed, and hours from his wedding – gunned down and shot FIFTY TIMES in a hail of bullets by NYPD (I guess just killing him wasn’t enough. The police needed to make sure his body was mutilated.). The black community remained calm.
Oscar Grant – unarmed, murdered while lying face down, handcuffed on the ground of the BART by Oakland, CA police. If you haven’t seen Fruitvale Station about his life and murder, you have missed a good one. And the black community? Calm.
Oscar Grant’s murderer found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, sentenced to 2 years, but served only about 11 months and was released. Small riots broke out after this verdict. But the black community was overwhelmingly calm.
Trayvon Martin– unarmed, except for a bag of Skittles and a can of tea – murdered with several months’ delay before his murderer was arrested and charged. The black community patiently waited, taking to social media to call for justice, but remained calm..
Trayvon’s killer found not guilty. The black community turned to social media to express anger. Calm prevailed.
Jordan Davis – unarmed – murdered. And again, the black community remained calm.
Jordan’s killer? Hung jury as to his murder. Still, the black community remained calm.
Remarley Graham – unarmed – murdered by police officers who burst into his home with no warrant and gunned him down. More calmness.
Remarley’s killer? Walked free. Calmness prevailed.
Jonathan Ferrell – unarmed – murdered by police officers after a homeowner called them because Mr. Ferrell was banging on her door seeking help after having been in a car accident.
Eric Garner – unarmed – murdered by a chokehold administered by the NYPD, while pleading with officers that he couldn’t breathe. Calm! Are you starting to see a pattern here?.
John Crawford – unarmed – except with a gun off a Walmart shelf where he was shopping – gunned down in Walmart by Ohio police. This case is still fresh. And the black community is…(say it with me now)…calm.
And now…Mike Brown. But this time, we are in a rage.
The looting and rioting and violence? Manifestation of that rage. It’s #BlackRageRising.
And while I don’t condone it, I also won’t try to condemn it. Because if we’re not enraged now, then when would we be? Do 2 more or 10 more black men have to be unjustifiably murdered, mostly by those sworn to protect us, before we’re entitled to feel rage?
It’s unproductive; yet apparently cathartic. In a very messy, unseemly, distasteful and painful kind of way.
But that’s the funny thing about rage. It’s messy, it’s traumatic, it’s uncivilized, it’s painful, it’s irrational and it leaves innocent victims in its wake.
Just like the relentless, terrorist murdering of unarmed black men.