“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston.
Baltimore, MA, has seen an inescapable revolt as citizens of The United States of America took to the streets in the wake of the disturbing killing, albeit mysterious, of Freddie Gray after he’d been taken into white police custody.
Projectiles were thrown. Stores were looted and some set ablaze. White police officers claim they were injured! That they feared for their lives.
Good! Perhaps the first time they claim they feared for their lives and a Black man is not cowardly shot and killed for absolutely no law enforcement reason.
Even Hillary Clinton stepped into the fray Wednesday, saying:
“We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America. There is something profoundly wrong when African-American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts.”
Why even Hillary Clinton?
On Tuesday, the day before his wife’s speech, Bill Clinton – the incarceration King of American (IKA) – had weighed in. As the Guardian reported:
“Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has called for an end to mass incarceration, admitting that changes in penal policy that happened largely under his watch put ‘too many people in prison and for too long’ and ‘overshot the mark.’”
The Guardian goes on to explain that:
“In 1994 Clinton championed a crime bill that laid down several of the foundations of the country’s current mass incarceration malaise. Vowing to be ‘tough on crime’ — a quality that had previously been more closely associated with the Republicans and which Clinton adopted under his ‘triangulation’ ploy — he created incentives to individual states to build more prisons, to put more people behind bars and to keep them there for longer. His also presided over the introduction of a federal three-strikes law that brought in long sentences for habitual offenders.”
Markedly, but quite dogmatically, just before Hillary gave her so-called rousing social justice speech, she hired political operative Charlie Baker, who helped orchestrate the Fix the Debt astroturf campaign of Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson. Its aim was, and still is, to impose even more austerity on the poor by cutting the already tattered safety net.
The African American community has been betrayed by Democrats and Republicans alike for far too long — it has been betrayed by America itself for centuries. Therefore, it is not difficult to see why it is hard for Blacks in America to accept at face value any promises made or policies articulated. History demonstrates that too many forked tongues – like the Clintons and their Democrats – have delivered too many betrayed covenants.
As James Baldwin put it in his essay “Journey to Atlanta”:
“Of all Americans, Negroes distrust politicians most, or more accurately, they have been best trained to expect nothing from them; more than other Americans, they are always aware of the enormous gap between election promises and their daily lives.”
“It is true that the promises excite them, but this is not because they are taken as proof of good intentions. They are the proof of something more concrete than intentions: that the Negro situation is not static, that changes have occurred, and are occurring and will occur — this, in spite of the daily, dead-end monotony. It is this daily, dead-end monotony, though, as well as the wise desire not to be betrayed by too much hoping, which causes them to look on politicians with such an extraordinarily disenchanted eye.”
Maybe there is some glitter of hope in the ever narrowing tunnel. Sen. Bernie Sanders, at the least, will be challenging the, IQA the Incarceration Queen of America, Hillary Clinton, in the primaries. We do not endorse Mr. Sanders neither. While Clinton trills out her vague platitudes, Bernie tells it like it is a bit much – with genuine rage perhaps – and offers real solutions: a government jobs program, higher taxes on wealth, expansion of Social Security, the overturn of Citizens United.
Even more heartening is that millions of people have finally had enough, all over this country. We’re joining in solidarity to rein in the police state, stop the secretive job-killing “free trade” deals, and raise wages not just to a minimum level, but to a living one.
The ills of Baltimore and other struggling cities are not natural phenomena. It’s State-sponsored pathology that arrests, jails and kills Blacks, that loots pension funds, that closes schools and mental health and recreation centers, that cuts off the human right of life-sustaining water for families unable to pay the high bill. It’s abnormal for wealthy donor-bribers of corrupt politicians to use public money for private profit.
When things are this dire, rage is the healthiest and most effective response there is.
If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.