Cyber Monday 50% OFF SITE WIDE! Check it out now | Free Shipping + Financing Available!

The Baltimore Riots Are About Rage, Oppression And Dominance.

by Carol Rood May 25, 2015

By Carol Rood
Baltimore riots

At approximately 8 am on the morning of April 12, a man named Freddie Gray was arrested by two Baltimore Police officers. He was placed into a police van, and although witnesses say he asked for help because he couldn’t breathe, he didn’t receive any medical help.  The police van made 4 stops while driving to the station to book Freddie. When the van arrived at the police station at approximately 9:30 that same morning, Freddie Gray was unresponsive and was rushed by ambulance to a Trauma center, where he died a week later due to complications from a severed spine.

Freddie Gray’s funeral was held on April 25, and following his funeral riots broke out in Baltimore.

I get the riots, I get the anger…. I am angry too!

In my opinion, the riots were a response….an angry response…..to Freddie Gray’s death….his murder…….. and nothing being done to the officers who arrested him (murdered him), besides them being suspended from the Police Force while the matter was being investigated.

I think the Baltimore riots were also about a community being tired of:

being afraid,

not being heard,

being marginalized,

being poor,

suffering.

When looked at in this way, the riots are at the most basic level, about an oppressed group being infuriated and tired of living in a  society that doesn’t think that black lives are important.

On April 27, reporter Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote in an article in The Atlantic, “When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con” (Coates, The Atlantic). He is speaking about the politicians who were asking young people in Baltimore to remain peaceful and ‘nonviolent’. His point about that being a ‘con’ is well.

In order to understand my perspective I need to introduce you to a word: hegemony.  This is really what is at the base of racism, sexism, homophobia, and every other “ism” I can think of, and a word that needs to be understood.  Once people understand what Hegemony really means, they usually have an “a-ha” moment.

Hegemony is defined as a “cultural dynamic by which a group claims and sustains a leading position in social life” In other words, “hegemony relates to cultural dominance in the society”

In this context it is obvious to see Ta-Nehisi’s point, (which I agree with), that the “representatives” of the state who are asking the people of Baltimore to act in a nonviolent manner are themselves the ones who are the oppressors, and therefore the perpetrators of the violence. Police, who have authoritarian power over society, are group that uses that power in a way that is unequal with society as a whole. In other words, if minorities, and in this case a young black man, is arrested and subsequently dies, the police, while being culpable, are not held accountable, because that does not fit within the idea of “hegemony”, which are the societal standards that are the norm within American culture.

In fact, when a group is disenfranchised, and oppressed, and not allowed to prosper by the dominant group, it is inevitable that the inequality would cause violence. By asking for this group to act in a “nonviolent” way, the state representatives are asking them to be okay with their disenfranchisement and oppression. That is only going to lead to more anger and more violence.

The only way to move forward as a society is to remove the hegemony (and the white dominance) that our society is structured around and create a level playing field for all.

Remove the oppressive institutions, derail racism, and allow access to quality education, safe shelter, and healthy food to all members of the society.

Not just the ones who have enough money to afford those things. If they were accessible to all, society as a whole would benefit, and America would indeed be the world power it claims to be.

I agree with Ta-Nehisi’s tweet about rioting: It is an expression of anger. Some humans riot because their school lost the big game. Others because the State can’t stop killing them.

#Blacklivesmatter

 

 

The post The Baltimore Riots Are About Rage, Oppression And Dominance. appeared first on The Next Family.




Carol Rood
Carol Rood

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

e13db90f29f21c3e81584d04ee44408be273e7d61cb710479cf7_640_fitness-300x214@2x

Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment

SidsFamily

By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →