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.
I'M JUST SAYING.
(For more images of the occurrences in Baltimore that may not be seen on mainstream networks, visit:)
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