Baltimore Updates

[Content Note: Racism; police brutality.]

Following the indictment of six police officers in the killing of Freddie Gray, Baltimore Mayor Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has lifted the city-wide curfew and the National Guard has begun pulling its troops from the city.
"The mayor and I both talked and agreed that we think it's time to get the community back to normal again," said [Maryland Governor Larry Hogan], who expected the military's pullout to be complete by sometime on Wednesday. "It's been a very hard week, but we've kept everybody safe."
So much wrong with so few words. I suspect that not everyone would agree that "everybody" has been kept safe—like, for example, the man who was pepper-sprayed for wearing a "Fuck the Police" t-shirt, but ostensibly because he was out past curfew. And I'm not sure on what planet getting things "back to normal" is a welcome objective, given that what's become normal is the very thing being protested.

The media coverage continues to be a complete clusterfucktastrophe, and here are just two things from CNN to illustrate the point: Yesterday, former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien appeared on the news network to say, quite rightly, that journalists have a greater responsibility to consider their language.
"For journalists to have a debate back and forth about thugs or thuggery is naive and misplaced," O'Brien said. "Journalists should strive to use words to describe accurately what's happening."

..."I think there's violent protesters, there's drunk protesters, angry protesters," she said. "When you look specifically about how the word riot is used, how the word thug is used, it's always used around people of color, specifically in an inner city context… Journalists should think about a word that actually doesn't have a lot of nuance and isn't specific, but somehow seems to be used a lot when talking about African-Americans."
And on the same day, CNN was running this shit, via Shaker Westsidebecca, on the front page of their website:

screen cap of the front page of with a huge headline reading: 'Lord of the Flies in Baltimore'

"What? At least we didn't use the word thugs!"—CNN, apparently.

Lastly, I want to recommend this piece by Prison Culture, who wisely notes that the arrest of these police officers, even if they are convicted and even if they are sentenced, will not truly be justice. Meaningful justice will only be achieved by dismantling the (in)justice system which is catastrophically contaminated by white supremacy.

Which is a daunting task to contemplate, but the enormity of the task before us shouldn't let us treat as justice what will be, at best, limited individual accountability in a comprehensively corrupt system.

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