Not Merely Talking the Talk
For the past year, I have been writing about the second-wave of the modern civil rights movement. Having gone through the years of marches in the 60s, the second-wave is déjà vu . However, there seems to be a disconnect between those marching in America for civil rights and the police departments getting with the program. Police are still shooting black males.
Case in point: Freddie Gray died on April 19, a week after his arrest on the 12th. The Baltimore police arrested him even though there was no probable cause for his arrest. In addition to a groundless arrest, Gray died while in custody of the Baltimore police.
Back in the first civil rights movement in the 60s, black males were also killed, but the police said that the suspect had done something threatening, which resulted in the police shooting. However, half a century ago, Americans did not have cell phones with video cameras. Many within the white community accepted the police explanation of the deaths of the black males. Nevertheless, the black community has been aware of police brutality, including racial killings, for generations. However, with the recent advent of cell phones with video cameras, the white community is seeing more clearly the reality of racism in America, especially within the police force.
Even with videos of the arrests and the conduct of the police, neither the police departments nor the prosecuting attorneys have done anything related to dealing with wrongful death of black males.
Freddie Gray was just another black male who died as a result of the police. The dance continued when the police department announced that they are looking into the situation. We have heard that same line for months in many other similar cases. Even the mayor said essentially the same thing. They will all get back to us after an investigation.
There I was grading term papers of an online class that I was teaching. I had the TV on to hear what Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for Baltimore City, had to say at the news conference. Mosby gave her press conference in front the City Hall.
Mosby started with what sounded like the normal spiel. Admittedly, I was ready for the same old dance. Therefore, I continued to enter grades online and watch the TV screen intermittently. However, at 2:33 minutes into Mosby's press conference, I started to hear her talking about the arrest of six Baltimore police officers. Whoa. Did I hear that correctly? It took me a couple moments to recoup. However, by that time, Mosby was listing what charges were being made against the six police officers.
Finally, someone at an official level acted and not merely talked. We have had countless people of authority willing to talk the talk. Finally, someone was willing to walk the walk.
In addressing racism in America, everyone in the white community knows what to say, but what they said does not get translated into anything other than words and excuses. We talk about equality, justice, and freedom, but that is about all that happens. Few are willing to walk the walk.
The writer, Suzy Kassem, said, "There is no point drumming up noise about a cause, if you are not willing to take a beating for it." Here finally is someone willing to stand up and act. However, some from the political right are claiming that Mosby overstepped her bounds. Really?
I wonder how those on the political right would respond if they were being treated like Freddie Gray and a long list of other dead Americans? If white males were being killed on a regular basis, would they be sitting on their hands waiting patiently while the police were looking into the situation while doing nothing? I think not.
We are in the second-wave of the civil rights movement, but movements need actions. Thank you, Ms. Mosby. I am old enough to be your father and would be very proud of you as a daughter.
This is the PBS video of Marilyn Mosby, State's Attorney for Baltimore City.
This is an interview with Ms. Mosby regarding her actions.