I will give you a hint: We can't blame the Mayor of Baltimore. (Although, from what I hear, her leadership skills leave a lot to be desired. ) We can't blame the police chief. And we certainly cannot blame it all on the killing of Freddy Gray.
What is to blame for what is taking place in Baltimore, and what took place in cities like Ferguson, Oakland, and New York, is a racial climate in this country that says we are now "post racial" and there is no more racism in America.
To the people who believe this the election of Barack Obama confirms that. Some of them, as crazy as this might seem, even blame Barack Obama for the uptick in racial tensions in this country.
I submit to you, though, that it is people like Sheriff David Morgan of Florida who is to blame for our current racial state of affairs in cities like Baltimore, Maryland.
"A video from 2013 has come to light showing the sheriff of Escambiaso County, Florida, David Morgan, sputtering on nonsensically about black culture.
Morgan’s bizarre speech begins with a criticism of the term African-American with Morgan emphatically stating:
“the blacks who currently reside in the United States of America are not from Africa.”
“I would remind black Americans that you are little less than 13% of the entire population of the United States.” “Had every one of those people been voter eligible only 13% could have voted for President Obama.” “If we’re such a racist nation, why do we have an African American president?” [Source]
Lord have mercy! This is a sheriff, people.
But then we shouldn't be surprised. Not after incidents like this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and...well, you get the idea.
I know one thing, this isn't only about black people in inner city Baltimore or any other city in America. Baltimore, like other cities in America, has been down this road before. But back then the civil unrest was brought on due racial injustice and civil rights violations; all triggered by the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Things have changed. These unrests are about poor people who feel hopeless and voiceless in a country that is increasingly becoming more divided when it comes to wealth, class, and race.
People are seeing the pie on the table and they can't get to it.
They have to share a sliver of it that has been carved out for them, while a few people take their turns eating large chunks of it and throwing the rest of us the scraps that they no longer want.
"Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain't nowhere to run to
There ain't nothin' here for free"
Livin' in the country
Where the mountain's high
Never comin' back here
'til the day I die"
~Baltimore, Nina Simone~