|Inside U.S.A.: Deadly Eye Contact: Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Police|
Tuesday, April 28 @ 20:18:14 UTC
|Black America is Fighting Back|
By RON JACOBS
April 28, 2015 - counterpunch.org
Like many other folks, I’ve been following the protests in Baltimore around the manslaughter of the young Black Baltimore man who “died in police custody” on April 19, 2015. Every day the protests demanding the arrest of the officers involved grow larger. Major League Baseball fans are concerned about missing their games as organizers talk about shutting Baltimore down. The suburbs in between Baltimore and its southern neighbor Washington, DC adjust their attention span to the news about this incident primarily according to the darkness of their skin. In other words, the broken spine of Freddie Gray has much more meaning to the dark-skinned suburbanites than it does to most other suburban dwellers.
Baltimore is not a pretty town. Sure, they’ve prettied up the Inner Harbor in a very modern capitalist manner; in other words, restaurants, shopping malls and museums. These areas are primarily populated with tourists, office workers and sports fans. Outside of this zone is where the desperation of neoliberal capitalism’s castoffs is palpable. It is nothing the authorities and their supporters want to get riled up. Just like in other communities left behind by neoliberal capitalism, the means to repress and suppress the anger and desperation felt by the residents of West Baltimore (where Freddie Gray was killed) include the illegal drug business, minimum wage jobs and plain old police brutality. This vicious brew of oppression is present in other parts of Baltimore, too, but the Western District is where the repression is currently the starkest.
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