Friday, May 1, 2015

Baltimore.

What's happening in Baltimore, the protesting and rioting, is necessary. The absolute devastation of black experience is unarguably historically rooted and needs to be actively addressed and corrected.

I don't feel discussing racism is my place, since there are fantastic writers out there covering what's going on. You can go on Twitter and follow, in real time what's going on. You can watch guerilla journalism happening, and see what is and what isn't being represented by the media. 

I post on Pushing Hoops with Sticks' Tumblr just tore at me. 
i don’t think people will ever understand how tolling this shit is on black people. during the bulk of the ferguson/eric garner protests during november i fell into the deepest depression. i couldn’t fall asleep until 6 or 7 in the morning, my jaw was permanently clenched, no appetite. i had ridiculous migraines and i’m someone who rarely has headaches, i would cry out of nowhere, i felt paralyzed/paranoid in public around any white people even my own mother/friends. no one will ever understand how draining this is for us.
This is brutal. I feel so deeply for this. I don't know what it is to be black. But I've known discrimination, and I know pain. Not like this though. 

I might not be super effective at discussing everything that's going on, but I want words of support and kindness to come from me, and to be expressed outwardly towards all those marching, all those protesting, all those doing what they can while they can to fight the systems of oppression and corruption. 

Montreal has a big, thick history of protesting. We're big on unions, we're big on student strikes. There's a lot of racism here as well, the Montreal police department is part of that, as is the long history of the indigenous people of Canada. The Oka Crisis wasn't that long ago. There are ongoing reparation problems. There was a cultural genocide of natives here, and people consistently choose to ignore that. Hérouxville is still fresh. Our hands in Canada are just as dirty as the white majority of the U.S. There's a lot of work to be done. 

MLK said that riots are the voice of the unheard. We're seeing that now in Baltimore, and all across the United States. We're also seeing that locally here in Montreal, and globally as a show of support. 

I've read a few articles on how to show support and solidarity for people of colour, as a white person who lives with a certain type of privilege, and it seems the consensus is using your whiteness to confront the racism in white spaces. 

11 things white people can do to be real anti-racist allies

Dear white Facebook friends: I need you to respect what Black America is feeling right now

There's just a lot out there. I'm trying to stay abreast of the situation. It's just such a brutal time. It seems every-time I log into Twitter, there's a new name, another black man immortalized by a hash-tag. 

#Freddie Gray
#Michael Brown
#Trayvon Martin

I cannot imagine the way this demoralizes a community. I listened to Part 1 of This American Life's pod-cast on how Cops See it Differently, this disconnect between how police see what's going on, and how "regular people" see what's going on. 

All I hear in the pod-cast is the pain in the voices of those being interviewed. It's just so personal and raw. 

I just don't want to be silent and complicit in this. 

Baltimore riots: How the Western media would cover the unrest if it happened elsewhere

It's just so fucked. 


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