Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
One year after the death of Freddie Gray, what have we learned? What have we changed within ourselves?
[Originally written April 30, 2015, but the questions still remain.]
THE FLAMES may have been turned down a bit, BUT THE POT is still bubbling.
Doesn't anyone realize that tear gas and riot gear have never extinguished an idea?
The human spirit has a natural inclination toward that which is right. It senses, deep down in its spiritual DNA, when things are unjust, and it naturally resists--unless that inner voice has become muted. The reparation of our community cannot be envisioned and designed by people who can't clearly and soberly see their current situations. We need to eliminate from our lives those things that tend to dull our senses so that we can listen to, feel, and watch our pot more closely. It is only when we can truly see the magnitude of a problem can really begin to fix it.
No strategies for healing or rebuilding this City should be developed without the input of the people, but we, the people, must force ourselves and one another to put down or give up those behaviors that make it easy for us to remain shackled and oppressed.
There are a host of reasons why things are the way they are in America-Baltimore-The World (it's all connected), and we can continue to look for external entities to blame, but none of them are excuses for giving up, blocking out, dropping out, failing to study, failing to preserve families, failing to clean up our environment-- for accepting helplessness and failure as normal expectations. Each of us has a moral obligation to start the work inward and work outward--self, family, community, society.
We cannot expect the same system that keeps us oppressed to design the strategies for attaining our freedom.
We have to understand how pervasive, far-reaching and systematic this pathology is. This is not about the Western District or the BCPD. If we located and prosecuted every dirty cop, that would not solve our problems (although it would be a good start). We would also have to locate and fire all of the bad teachers and rewrite all of the counter-productive, ineffective, biased curricula that are not designed to promote analysis, awareness, and creativity (I want to be in on that one). We would have to hold accountable all of the slumlords... and the producers of genetically-altered food... and the people who push our kids to be highly sexual. We'd have to rid our psyches of the not-even-subliminal messages that are plastered on billboards and ads for tobacco and intoxicants. We'd have to reprogram women (the first teachers) to understand their beauty, value, and worth.
We have to stop looking for easy targets for our rage. We have to start the hard, dirty work of cleaning ourselves, our families, and our neighborhoods.
This really ain't even about black people or so-called minorities or women. It is about a broken system that is failing the environment and all of humanity. The racism that is choking us is just one small symptom.
Al Sharpton can't do here in Bmore what he could not do for the rest of the bubbling pots. There is no cavalry. After the election speeches and photo ops have ended, there is only heartfelt prayer to our Lord and the hard work of the people. #ThisfromtheOptimistRealist #SisterIslaah 2015