People have been throwing a lot of shade your way lately and, even though you are just shy of the Mason Dixon, we see the old genteel South rearing its ugly head. Just like in post-Katrina New Orleans, they’re calling you criminals, thugs, and hooligans. They say that you’re looting and destroying your city, but we know better than that. We know that this isn’t just about Freddie Gray. We know that there are others, like Mya Hall, and we know that this is not about you burning your city to the ground. This is about your response and stepping into a transformative moment, and we are all better for it.
Like the Detroit Rebellion of 1967, the history books and the corporate media will get it wrong. They have and will ignore and deny that centuries of occupation and White Supremacy are to blame. They’ll ask why we aren’t happy with Black elected officials and police officers as if we don’t understand how the three evils of racism, capitalism, and militarism have been designed to seep into every crack of how we are governed despite who is giving the orders. They’ll wonder why immigrants, queers, and Black people living in the South are joining you to demand that we all deserve to live free from fear of police brutality, deportations, criminalization, and our imminent death at the hands of the state.
We won’t join the gays who are condemning riots as a rule or exclaim that nonviolence is the end all be all of making change and then turn a blind eye to the brutal violence exerted on black and brown bodies. You won’t hear us telling you to remain calm in spite of your daily survival. We see you claiming your streets and your city along with thousands of our people across this country and the world who wage resiliency in the ways we know how toward our collective liberation. We see the bravery, vision, and heart in this social, political, spiritual, and cultural uprising. We see you rising up Baltimore. We love you all and we will see you in the streets!
In love and struggle,
Southerners On New Ground
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