I totally agree that I don’t understand the rage that is being displayed over the last few days in Baltimore! I didn’t get the WHY behind the police brutality and murder of young Freddie Gray. I just listened to a post by one of my African American Teens on Facebook of a very articulate young African American gal that defended the rioting and violence in Baltimore. Her point, which was very well stated, was that no one understands the hurt and outrage that is part of this community. She truly believes that peaceful dialogue and protesting haven’t accomplished anything. Her point is that only violence gets the attention of the ‘White’ Community.
Last night in a mentor group we talked about the crisis on our doorstep. We talked about a young teen gal who ran a stop sign and ultimately lost her life, another local teen collapses at school and dies. Next we talked about the death of Freddie Gray and the rioting in Baltimore and then lastly the devastation of an earthquake on the other side of the world where over 4000 have been killed. We finished our mentor group discussion talking about what it takes to become a peacemaker where reconciliation can happen.
Is it really the case that those in power aren’t capable of hearing any type of peaceful dialogue or protest? Does it always come back to creating a mob scene with more suffering, loss of life and loss of property? Is this totally about racism being exhibited in the worse way through the domination of one race over another? I continue to struggle with why retaliation and getting even seems to be the unwritten code in my under resourced neighborhood. My hope is to see life transformation happen in the lives of young Hispanic and African American teens. Is it possible for today’s youth to choose to step back and seek non-violent means to restore their broken relationships and see peace potentially be brought to their community?
The challenge, which many have sighted, is the complex nature of the history behind the suppression of any people group by another. It is almost impossible to comprehend what it would be like to be racially profiled if you haven’t ever lived in this context. What steps have to happen to see reconciliation begin between the police in Baltimore and the local citizens of this fractured African American community? Another friend of mine honestly said that it’s too easy for those of us in the upper crust ‘White’ community to put our focus on the rioting and the burning down of a CVS instead of the death of Freddie Gray. Sadly most in my peer group will remember the torching of the CVS and won’t know the name of the young man that lost his life.
Most don’t like to live in the middle of tension, unrest and a sense of hopelessness. Yet, sometimes the path to peace and restoration in our community is to have restless nights wondering the WHY question. What is just as key in the ongoing struggle is considering my role in seeing peace restored? I totally agree that Black Lives Matter but just as important is to also express that ALL LIVES MATTER!
Yes be outraged at the death of a 25 year old ‘Black man’! You can build another CVS but you can’t bring Freddie Gray back in this life!