May 6, 2015 – Arsenal for Democracy 126 Baltimore

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.
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ArsenalForDemocracy.com contributors join host Bill to debate the Baltimore riots and whether peaceful protest can even achieve change in America anymore. Panel: Bill, De Ana, Greg, and Nate. Produced: May 3rd, 2015.

Episode 126 (52 min):
AFD 126

Related Links

“After Baltimore: In defense of riots” by De Ana
“After Ferguson: In defense of non-peaceful resistance” by Bill
“Non-violence has cost at least 2.7 million Black US lives” by Bill

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After Baltimore: In defense of riots

Since last August, the list of the names of Black people who have been murdered by the cops has multiplied. It’s said that every 28 hours a Black person is killed by the police. It’s also said that in 2015 alone over 300 people, mostly Black, have been murdered by the police – and we’re not even a full 6 months into the year.

Many would say that this information seems incorrect. They imagine that there couldn’t possibly be that many people killed within a year by the Police, who are supposed to protect and serve the rest of us who aren’t in uniform. I would call those people naive. But since there isn’t a formal record of just how many people are killed by the police each year, there’s no evidence to present to non-Black people to illustrate the distrust and fear many of us have of law enforcement.

Unfortunately, because we live in a society that doesn’t believe the lived experiences of Black people, that lack of physical evidence allows most to ignore or remain completely oblivious to something that has been going for generations.

Over the past year, there was a fleeting hope that if people could see the harm we went through, there would be a greater push to stop these extrajudicial murders. There were many campaigns to require law enforcement all over to wear body cameras to record their interactions with people.

Even without this, more and more civilians have been quick to pull out their camera phones to record and upload onto the internet violent interactions between themselves or others and the police. Almost weekly there have been videos of one victim after another being shot, suffocated, or otherwise killed.

Instead of having its intended effect of forcing people to see and empathize with the victims, it seems to have rapidly desensitized people to the sight of Black people dying.

This has been happening for generations. By the time most Black children are in their pre-teens they’re already taught by their parents – or trained by interaction – on how to behave around the police to lower their chances of being beaten, sexually abused, or killed. However, this self-preserving, precautionary relationship Black people have toward the police is largely ignored by White people. They would rather assume that some bad behavior in a Black person’s past is what caused them to be harassed by officers.

There’s a breaking point. After years, decades, generations of abuse, there comes a point where people cannot take it anymore. All that negativity cannot be bottled up forever, all of that abuse cannot be received without boiling over.
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O’Malley on GOP economics: “Kind of patently bullshit”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, weighing a Democratic presidential bid, continued to hit his recent themes of re-regulating the economy to protect ordinary people, in a pre-recorded upcoming NPR interview, this time much more strongly:

“And, certainly, the concentrated wealth and accumulated power and the systematic deregulation of Wall Street has led to this situation where the economy isn’t working for us. All of that is true. But it is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps middle class from advancing. That’s kind of patently bullshit.

NPR’s full interview with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will be broadcast Monday on NPR’s Morning Edition.

O’Malley also asked:

“The bigger issue is, do we have the ability as a party to lead by our principles? Or are we going to conduct polls every time we try to determine where the middle is on any given day?”

 
The former governor also recently addressed the National Action Network (Al Sharpton’s organization) and spoke at quite some length — drawing upon his experiences as Governor of Maryland and Mayor of Baltimore — about the death of Walter Scott, police violence against Black Americans more broadly, and the general challenges surrounding race in America today. More than six minutes of excerpts were posted in this video:

Most of his remarks were pretty solid, in my opinion, and I think it’s been a while since a White politician spoke this openly with these words for this amount of time on this issue.