Like many people across the United States and the world, our hearts and minds are with the people of Baltimore who are refusing to accept the murder of Freddie Gray at the hands of the police. Freddie Gray’s death is not an exception, but the rule in Baltimore where police mistreatment of the Black community is commonplace. We support the people of Baltimore as they rise up and proclaim their humanity in the face of this inhumane situation.
The protests in Baltimore are a part of a larger movement of young Black people across the country leading a call for an end to the policies, practices, and cultural norms that exclude them from jobs, housing, education and subject them to violence, imprisonment and death. Just as we saw the brave young people in Egypt stand up against a military dictatorship, and the Black youth of Ferguson challenging police violence and oppression, we now see Black communities in Baltimore leading the way. We are witnessing a powerful movement of Black leaders, many of them women, young, queer and trans people, charting a course for our shared liberation.
Powerful media and politicians are trying to paint the protests in Baltimore, and across the country, as the work of “violent thugs.” We know that these messages are meant to be racist dog whistles, and distract us from the real reason for the protest: true justice for Black people. We believe the indictment of the officers in this case only occurred because of the actions and power of the people of Baltimore and across the country in the streets.
As white people, we want to be a part of a country and a world that is united across race, gender, sexuality and other identities, with liberty and justice for all.
We choose to join what Anne Braden, the great southern white civil rights leader called “the other America”: the America of those who resist injustice.
#BlackLivesMatter #StandwithBaltimore #BaltimoreRising
Other Statements in support of the Baltimore Uprising:
Our Country is at a Critical Juncture in the Wake of Freddie Gray's Killing: Women Stand with Baltimore, Say Democracy, Dignity, and Fairness at Stake- from the National Domestic Workers Alliance
SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice.