May 1, 2015

Hey You With The Stolen T.V.

It was a typical school morning. I inhaled coffee while urging my oldest to get dressed for school. We watched the news channels compete to broadcast the chaos erupting in Baltimore, Maryland; streets filled with tension and the demand for justice; the environment completely engrossed in activity. 

Somewhere along the way, my seven year old daughter asked me a pressing question. She wanted to know why people run down the street with televisions in tow, during these types of situations. She asked if something scared them or chased them. She asked if they stole them. So instead of making an assumption, I figured I'd let YOU- whoever you are- explain your own actions.

You see, my daughter only knows a little about Freddie Gray. She's too young to know all the details. She understands that he died while with the police. She understands that people are angry because they don't know why he died. I explained to her why (some) people are marching PEACEFULLY, holding hands and signs while others are angry, yelling, and crying. I explained some aspects of the outrage and why it's NOT COOL to hate. I told her all about the LOVE of people, differences, and race.

What I CANNOT give her is an answer for how YOU, the one running with the stolen t.v., are making things better. How are you stating your case? There are often others with new, stolen, nonessential items running, too. So will YOU  please explain to my baby (and the rest of us) how you are stating your case? I admit, I'm sometimes a little hard to teach and delayed to catch on but I pass no judgment here. It's just that, if you were running away with food, or clothing, I'd better understand.


I don't know your life, situation, nor plight. What I will assume, however, is that the black, white, red, purple, or green man who worked his ass off to open that store (in YOUR neighborhood) to provide for his family, never intended to have you tear down his lifeline and take things for free. I will also assume that the black, white, red, purple, or green woman who worked her ass off to open the restaurant that so many enjoy (in YOUR neighborhood), didn't do it to have YOU destroy her expensive equipment, interrupting the daily sacrifice she makes to feed her family and send her kids to college.

Staring at the images on our television screen, my daughter yelled "WHY ARE THEY BURNING DOWN THE BUILDINGS MOMMY? AND HEYYYYY, THAT'S A DRUGSTORE! HOW WILL SICK PEOPLE, LIKE MY G-MA, GET THEIR MEDICINE?!" (We refer to pharmacies as "drugstores" in the South.) She may not notice her spills, sticky messes, dirty laundry, and scattered toys but not many things escape her watchful eye. Although the veil hasn't yet been removed to reveal the myriad of social injustices to her, she is much wiser than her years! Even in her little, innocent mind, she knows that something just ain't right.

Call me uninformed, misinformed, just plain stupid, or whatever you'd like; but I'm still a parent just looking for answers. The carrying and birthing of my children was beautiful and painful as hell. However, neither was half as painful as  having to explain why their gorgeous, brown skin will sometimes be loathed inexplicably. It hurt equally as bad explaining why lives are lost trying to change that.

So while men and women of all races protest, taking a stand for the victims of racism, gender & class discrimination, and immeasurable ignorance, I hold and protect my child. While they are arrested, gassed, and judged for trying to make a difference, I hold and protect my child. Here we will sit... and wait... for YOU to explain to us why YOU are running down the street with a stolen t.v. and how THAT is making a positive difference in our world.


(For more images of the occurrences in Baltimore that may not be seen on mainstream networks, visit:)

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  1. Such a compelling question from one so young. And you're a good mother, to make no excuses for bad behavior, and to pass the question to the responsible (or irresponsible) parties. Such a sad situation, all around. No good can come from rioting and looting.

    1. Thank you! It was definitely a compelling question. Sometimes I'm stumped as to how I should answer them all. She asks many!!! Lol!

  2. Well stated, TM. Very well stated. Your children have a great mom!

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment!

      I'm doing my best to raise well-rounded, "thinking" women. =)

  3. You know, I had the same dang question. I'm from the St. Louis area, so you know we had lots of fun TV coverage here. I just couldn't figure out how breaking into a beauty shop and stealing HAIR EXTENSIONS was going to give Mike Brown's mother any peace of mind. Oh, or what about the guy seen running off with a SINGLE RIM from an automotive shop? Huh?

    Thankfully, we're getting some decent stories too...but I don't know if they're making national news. We had a couple hundred artists paint boarded up windows in Ferguson, and college kids volunteering their time to clean up debris. Someone published a children's book. The Bloggess and some other writers asked people to donate to Ferguson's library and they got $350,000.

    1. It's such a complex topic all around the board. And when you add in nonsense like the hair extensions and rims, it just adds fuel to the flames.

      It's good to know that some positivity has come from all of this and in spite of it. I pray that not only our country but the world will experience TRUE, eternal compassion and tolerance toward one another.

      Blessings to you! <3