Ms. Erika Kendall is a friend of my high school colleague, Genie Lauren. You may remember Ms. Lauren from a few years back, when she successfully orchestrated a social media campaign to stop the publishing deal being negotiated for Juror B37 in the trial of George Zimmerman; for more on that, Click Here. With this being said, I think that Ms. Kendall has provided a raw, honest, and well-written diatribe addressing the issues surrounding the events concerning Baltimore and the death of Freddie Gray. Please note that the language in this piece may offend some readers, so if that isn't your cup of tea, feel free to close out this window. But if you want to see where many people stand on this topics right now, take a few moments to check this out.
You called the hood “sketchy” and made sure you rolled up your windows and locked your doors when you absolutely HAD to drive through it. You even created and make copious use of apps that HELP YOU AVOID THE “SKETCHY” NEIGHBORHOODS.
Now, when you see people destroying it, you want to talk that good sh-t about “savage” behavior, “destroying property,” “earned disrespect,” “delinquency,” “why should a criminal get justice?” and “black unemployment.”
And, of course, all this and you want your cookies for not being racist, all because you didn’t say “n-gger.” You want us to throw a celebration for your petulant ass for not hanging a human being from the poplar tree in your front yard.
Okay, I’ve got your cookies. I’ve got your little party, too.
Congratulations for finding a thousand different ways to say “n-gger.”
Congratulations for, instead of spittin’ that dog whistle nonsense about “lazy black people,” you now want to crow on about how all the burned businesses only add to “black unemployment,” while some cornball friend of yours snarks about how that’s “probably what they wanted.” Neither one of you realized that the hood doesn’t own those businesses, rarely ever is employed BY those businesses, and when they are…they’re paid literal pennies on the dollar of what they’re worth. None of you read that the unemployment rate for that particular part of Baltimore is hovering around 25%. But you’re worried about businesses there NOW.
Besides — it’s not “n-gger” anymore – it’s “thug.”
Congratulations for, instead of repeating that petty ridiculousness about “makers” and “takers,” you’re now focused on “looting.” The “looters.” The “looters.” The “looters.” Guess what? That population is so economically depressed – no jobs, no banks to help them get loans so they can create their OWN economic opportunity, no ability to actually build the generational wealth necessary to pass money down to their kids so THEY can create their own economic opportunity – that they feel like they have next to nothing. Why are you surprised that people with nothing to lose will take what someone else has…ESPECIALLY when they value those THINGS more than they value human life?
You expect people who have purposefully had their property stripped from them through eminent domain, through corruption of federal policy, through manipulation, through burning down entire avenue blocks full of their businesses….after you’ve taken everything from them, you expect them give a damn about what YOU have? You’ve already taught them these things mean nothing and can be stolen at the drop of a hat – including their lives.
Congratulations for not hanging any black people anymore. Except, oh wait, you are. Not only are black Americans still being hung in the US, but you’ve evooooolved! You’ve found new and creative ways to punish and penalize and torture black and brown people OUTSIDE THE CONFINES OF OUR LEGAL SYSTEM. So, instead of that whole trial, jury, hire lawyer, innocent until proven guilty thing we’ve created to protect the individual livelihoods and freedoms of our great nation, we’re OKAAAAAAYYYY with *certain* people being murdered extrajudicially because they “shouldn’t have been breaking the law.” Except, what’s the deal with that criminal scumbag police officer who lied and claimed HIS victim stole his taser and therefore earned the death sentence HE received… and we would’ve believed that, too, if it weren’t for someone determined to ensure that the truth was heard.
Somehow, the Oklahoma bomber, the Boston bomber, the Colorado theater shooter, and countless other criminals manage to be taken alive… but a man standing on the street allegedly carrying a knife is grounds for brutal treatment. A man who takes off running for reasons unknown is justification for a criminal scumbag officer to square up and shoot him to death.
Congratulations for helping us understand how to be upstanding citizens of the US, and teaching us – in true passive-aggressively paternalistic form – the proper terms under which it is acceptable to devalue private property. So, let me make sure I have this right – it’s okay to destroy public property when a university is finally held accountable for giving a pedophile carte blanche to abuse minors with impunity… it’s okay to destroy private property when my favorite hockey team wins their game… it’s okay to destroy private property when my favorite hockey team LOSES their game… it’s okay to burn some shit down when Pumpkinfest runs out of pumpkins… and it’s okay to destroy some shit when there’s an important sale going on.
It is NOT okay, however, to destroy some shit when you’re rallying against the fact that people are consistently denied access to the justice system because cops are acting like judge, jury, and executioner by shooting people just because they have black skin. I got it, yeah?
Congratulations for not saying “n-gger,” and for not being photographed eating any ice cream cones at any lynchings in the US. I’m proud of you! That’s big progress!
Here’s your cookie. And a book. Focus more on the book part, though – maybe that’ll teach some of you some damn empathy for perpetually and purposefully disenfranchised people. Maybe you’ll give a damn about them before they have to burn a tenth of your city down to get media attention. Maybe you’ll learn that they, too, are human, and deserve access to all the same rights as the rest of us, no matter how much money they have.