17 September 2020
15 September 2020
25 August 2020
17 August 2020
On Saturday, 15.August and today, 17.August, a bald, middle aged White man drove by in a bright white pickup truck to call us a "campaign of hate." On Saturday, he simply tagged us with that name. Today, he phrased it as a question. Even though asked to come and speak to us (more directly today than on Saturday), he elected to drive away.
He's fearful. Must be. That's the only reason why he would insult an entire group of people from the safety of a moving vehicle. Precisely what is he so afraid of?
Of the demand for a special session of the MD General Assembly?
Of the passage of Anton's Law?
Of the removal of SROs (School Resource Officers)?
Of the suspension of rent and mortgage payments in answer to the housing crisis?
Or simply of a group of people, mostly White, if anyone's looking, who have agreed to gather together, sometimes chatting pleasantly and sometimes standing in silence, to remind everyone who drives by that Black lives do, in fact, matter?
Of course, there's no speaking for anyone, much less a fear-riddled middle aged White man. We can only take guesses at what is going on inside him, and hope that one day, he will step out of his safety to engage us and allow us to tell him what we are really about.
Do we hate anything? Absolutely. Policing as it stands is abhorrent, unhelpful to most of the citizenry of the United States, and literally lethal to Black people.
Do we hate anyONE? Absolutely not.
Police officers can sometimes be victims themselves. Even behind the Thin Blue Line, Black officers and other officers of color are treated differently to their White counterparts. They are punished more often and more severely for missteps, both those that they have actually committed and those that others merely believe have been committed. Worse, when Black officers remove their uniforms and badges, they become just as much of a target as any other Black person. The problem, the very issue that Tony's Troublemakers is protesting, is the fact that a Black police officer without their uniform is still Black. They cannot take their color off. And they can be harmed or die for it. That should not happen to ANYONE, not even someone who might, in other circumstances, benefit from the Blue Code and the various collective agreements that keep said code snugly in place.
Ours is a campaign of reclamation. This is where our name comes from; this is our core. We call upon the police to find themselves anew, away from the repugnant history of slave chasing and union breaking, away from being the armed dogs of the privileged. We call upon our state to find better ways to protect and serve its populace, and for our nation to find its way out of the backwardness of White supremacy that has always, always, always both hounded and haunted it.
These are not calls of hate. They are calls of hope, calls of faith in the humanity of those to whom we call. They are calls of love.