Events in Baltimore – Causes, consequences and cures
The city of Baltimore has got a lot of attention lately. If you’d like to find out more about the events that are taking place there, here is an interview with Tatianna Sims, a senior at Princeton High School and this year’s winner of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for the Central/Southern region of New Jersey.
First off, what sparked the movement in Baltimore?
What happened in Baltimore was: a man by the name of Freddie Gray was wrongfully killed by the police. He was being transported into a van and then he was taken out of the van, and how the police handled him…they fractured his spine, by his neck. He repeatedly asked for medical attention, but he was denied that, eventually they did get him medical attention but it was later on, way longer than he should have got it and unfortunately he did pass away at the hospital.
So, what really started the movement in Baltimore was that he was denied this medical attention that he clearly needed. They were trying to restrain him, and, I guess, there are different reports right now, there hasn’t been clear evidence, but they should have detained him in a better manner. It was too hostile. If anybody is requesting medical attention, especially an injury on his neck, he should have absolutely got it.
How did the people in Baltimore respond?
In Baltimore, it was really just more frustration. I mean, coming from just August, when Mike Brown was wrongfully killed, it was really a sign that we just dehumanize African Americans. The African American community-we’re grouped together, labeled, stereotyped, and then in turn, we as a community devalue ourselves. So it was really just a response that- no! African Americans are people too. They are individuals and they deserve to be viewed in the same light and their lives do matter, as much as Caucasians or Asians or any other racial group.
Do you think the media coverage is accurate?
I don’t believe that the media coverage is accurate. A lot of times, the media goes after these “hot stories” and they only stay in a period, to see the violence – the CVS being burned down by some “thugs,” as they like to term it. And then they go away. But they don’t see the good that’s being done in Baltimore- the people that are helping, kids being educated, feeding the people who have lost their homes, and making sure that Freddie’s memory is continued. And making sure that there are efforts made in place so it doesn’t happen again. A lot of time that’s not being shown. It’s just these “hoodlums” or these “thugs,” robbing and killing, stealing and looting. And it’s not giving an accurate picture of the movement and it’s painting, again, African Americans as these savages, these neanderthals.
Do you think these kind of protests will happen again?
I think so. I think we can’t be naive enough to think that an unfortunate event like this won’t occur in our areas, and in our communities and to our children. So I definitely believe that there will be more protests. Unfortunately I believe that there will be more lives lost until people actually realize the importance of this matter, and this movement.
What specific things should we do to prevent this kind of discrimination?
I think we should just see people as people. I don’t think that, in our time, things like racism and prejudices, things of that nature, will go away. It’s a mindset that has to, unfortunately, die out. And that may take some time, but, with the new generation coming in, and their learning that people should be valued, people should be looked upon as equals, cause that’s how the new generation views people now. Some of those old mindsets are leaving now. But I also in turn believe that in the African American communities, or in the minority communities at large, we have to get rid of this “slave mentality” that we have. It is the inside slave versus the outside slave. We have to stop valuing our own people in different levels, like “Oh, just because you’re light skinned, then you’re better or you’re “boojie,” and darker skinned people are ghetto, and from the hood or from these crummy areas.”
Thank you very much.
Sure, hope I was of help.
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