I know the streets of large cities are filled with disaffected youths. I understand that their arrogance is hard to accept and harder still to deal with. I realize there’s a massive gulf between my experiences and the lives of people for whom every day is a struggle against racism and poverty, just as I appreciate that there’s a huge gap between my life and the lives of police officers who encounter anger and hostility every day.

My understanding notwithstanding, I am choking on the fact that Baltimore is burning. I am choking because I cannot accept that so many Black men die at the hands of police. I am choking because I cannot accept that the solution to bigotry and oppression is rampant violence. I am choking because the solutions to poverty and racism do not involve pillaging neighborhood stores and attacking racists and those who look like them and setting fire to entire cities.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Choking

  1. jserolf says:

    My feelings as well, John. But while we warred over racism in the 1960s, I can’t help but feel that there is now war against the poor. On NPR this afternoon, one reported described an incident of young man dancing on the roof of a van to a song by Michael Jackson, while looters took things from stores and the city burned — Nero? The surreal chaos of this is nearly beyond me.

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