Another ‘mysterious’ death of a black person while in police custody. Another justified outrage by the black community, with a peaceful march of protest. Another group of assholes who ruin things and make things only worse. Let’s include a lot of american media outlets in this last group.
Because if the situation is so polarized that a lot of people can only see in black and white is also their god-damn fault.
Let’s look at the facts. A young black man died after being arrested by the Baltimore police. From the damage to the spine, they believe he was subjected to a routine rough up by Baltimore’s finest. On the day his funerals took place 10000 people attended and then flowed into a peaceful march of protest. Then a group of about 200 people turned a peaceful march into yet another explosion of violence.
The events taking place in Baltimore are particularly heinous even for riots. On top of attacking and injuring police officers and civilians alike, looting and setting fire to shops, houses and cars in their own neighborhood, they have been actively obstructing firemen and EMTs. The most depraved of images are those of the moron cutting holes in a firehose while firemen were trying to put out a fire that the rioters had started.
The most telling are those of the mother who starts slapping her son when she finds him among the rioters, like the many teens who left school to join the ‘fun’. These are all individuals. A small part of the people gathered at the funeral decided the best way to kill the stereotype was to act like it. They’re a small separate part of a community and yet so many try to conflate them together. Either they’re all peaceful protesters justified in their craziness by their pain and the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr -yes, you’re not the only one feeling sick- or they’re all natural born criminals who were just looking for an excuse.
Common sense and logic would dictate to see the situation as follows: a small group of violent individuals turned what should have been a peaceful protest to request the truth into a riot, and they should be isolated and condemned. But the extremes won’t have that. If you condemn the violent ones -those only– you’re a racist or an anarchist, dependings on which side you’re discussing this with. The labels reign supreme.
US, I understand you’re nearing election day but this bipartisan campaign you’ve been perpetuating for months is one of the most disgusting pieces of propagandist instrumentalization I’ve ever seen. And I live in Italy. It seems that no matter the country the only way politicians and the press seem able to gain consensus and interest from the general population is to create an enemy to rally against.
What should have been a pretty open and close case of ‘violent fringe in an otherwise peaceful rally’ if everyone used logic is now yet another minefield where one side treats all the people currently on the streets in Baltimore as rioters, and the other defends the heinous actions with the shield of race. And the moderates in the middle are particularly hated, more so than the ‘other side’.
Of course, I can’t place the blame solely at the media’s feet. They have the intention and the motive for turning a campfire into an inferno and keep the peaceful protests out of the news and focus on the riots. Or outright lying to paint all cops in a bad light, but in a world so vastly connected and full of knowledge personal ignorance is becoming less and less sufficient as an excuse. It’s 2015 and I still see people judging others based on their personal feelings instead of logic, and taking into consideration everything but an individual’s personal actions.
It’s because of this ignorance that stereotypes get perpetuated on communities, which just perpetuate ignorant actions. It’s why in many places of the world people still get treated differently just because of their skin. On the other hand, it’s also how some people can lament with a straight face that they can’t get pizza delivered to their neighborhood anymore after the last two deliverymen were murdered.
What do you think of the Baltimore City Paper’s conduct? Of the media’s coverage of the event in general? Let me know in the comments or one of my social media accounts. And give a rate to this article, if you so please.