Courageous Mothers of West Baltimore: America's 'Tiger Moms' (Corriere Della Sera, Italy)


"How is Baltimore different than Ferguson? One answer comes from the symbolic image-of-the-moment which has emerged from the madness that struck this Maryland city: African-American mothers are going out to take back their black hoodie-clad sons. They look menacing, but these mother-tigers, different in their anguish from those in Asia who push their children toward scholastic excellence, grab their kids by the scruff of the neck, slapping and shoving them away from looting and burning."


By Massimo Gaggi



Translated By Martyn Fogg


May 4, 2015


Italy - Corriere Della Sera - Original Article (Italian)

Looting and burning in the center of Maryland, just 25 miles from Washington, after the violent death of young Black man Freddy Gray. But here, unlike in Ferguson, African-American mothers are going out and pulling their children off the streets.


In Ferguson the problem, on top of police violence, was identified by the lack of representation: the mayor and police chief the black suburbs of St. Louis, were White. In Baltimore, however, the mayor [Stephanie Rawlings-Blake] is a woman of color, daughter of a revered leader of the battle for civil rights and a democrat who has decided to go all out to determine who is responsible for the death of Freddie Gray, a young Afro-American who died on April 12 from a fractured spine suffered during his arrest. The police chief, Anthony Batts, who is also Black, has already accused the six police officers who arrested Gray: who are at the very least responsible for failing to provide medical assistance. For this he has come under fire from the police union.


In Baltimore, also unlike Ferguson, the victim’s family hasn't fanned the flames of unrest, instead demanding peaceful and dignified protest. Religious leaders, united, have urged people to express their anger in a civilized manner. And when the looting began, Christian pastors took to the streets along with Muslim leaders from the Nation of Islam and went around pulling Black kids from devastated shops to send them home.


Let us consider the meaning to the term: "Baltimore is not Ferguson."


In Baltimore, the unrest has in some ways been even worse than that which erupted in Ferguson: looting and burning in broad daylight, bands of children without even their faces masked, and gangs who are usually divided by a deep hatred of one other working together to ambush police, and so a state of emergency, the arrival of National Guard troops in armored cars and a curfew, impressed like an indelible mark on a glorious city with a great historic and cultural heritage just 25 miles from the capital, Washington.




So how is Baltimore different? One answer comes from the symbolic image-of-the-moment which has emerged from the madness that struck this Maryland city: African-American mothers are going out to take back their black hoodie-clad sons. They look menacing, but these mother-tigers, different in their anguish from those in Asia who push their children toward scholastic excellence, grab their kids by the scruff of the neck, slapping and shoving them away from looting and burning. These are boys brought up in the neglect of slums and often from broken families. Many have never known a father’s authority. And their working mothers, who in desperation tear their hair trying to keep their kids from getting into trouble, can do little to prevent them camping out on sidewalks of the ghetto. School is merely a hopeless place to park them (assuming they actually go to school in the morning).


So the bridge over the highway that connects the suburbs of West Baltimore in which sits the Gilmor Homes - the desolate public housing quarter where Freddie Gray grew up -instead of being a link with the city center and Baltimore University, ends up being a border. On one side is the ghetto; on the other, affluence and White society. The gulf between the two worlds is not just about economic conditions, with poverty and unemployment rampant in these Western districts: Blacks who want to study and have a positive attitude can obtain scholarships and graduate, but with the social fabric so devastated in neighborhoods infested with drugs and disillusionment, those who want to liberate themselves must show tremendous inner strength. They have to work hard often without family support and stand up to friends who treat them like “traitors”, as if they are people who aspire to a "White man's life."

Posted By Worldmeets.US

Black Unrest in America: The 'Middle Class Effect' (Handelsblatt, Germany)

[Click Here to Read]


This is also why, a year after the creation of a White House task force to address racial problems, that rioting continues to recur and has now reached the gates of the capital. The first commandment distilled from Obama's wise men: the policeman of the 21st century must be a guardian of society who defends public order but also takes care to win the confidence of the community. These are words that have failed to diminish the implacable police interventions in America' suburban hells: at least 12,000 unarmed Black have been killed in the last 18 months. So while in Baltimore, African-Americans are saying “enough,” in Annapolis, another suburb of Washington - the White one with its military academies - what has manifested is support for police who “do a tough job to protect citizens and should not allow themselves be intimidated.”



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[Posted By Worldmeets.US May 3, 2015, 9:36pm]





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