Stand Up, Fight Back, and Channel Outrage to Action
Last week, after three mistrials, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby succeeded in winning the unjust conviction of Keith Davis Jr. on fabricated charges. Only one day later, Donald Trump issued his abusive, racist tirade against our city. We are as outraged by the conviction of Davis as we are by Trump’s hate-mongering barrage of insults. But outrage is not enough. It is past time to channel our anger into building new political structures capable of empowering Baltimoreans over individuals and institutions that have mislead our city for decades. Fighting back against a corrupt criminal justice system and the overt racism directed at our city requires fighting back against the structural racism that is embedded across Baltimore’s social and political life.
The events of last week demonstrate--yet again--the many ways that both Republicans and Democrats have failed our city. The racist redlining of Black neighborhoods was implemented by FDR’s supposedly progressive administration. The slumlords who profit from the evictions of family (like Jared Kushner) or poisoning Baltimore’s youth for generations with lead paint write checks to whichever politicians are likely to win elections, regardless of party affiliation.
The zero tolerance policing and the war on drugs that have devastated communities in Baltimore’s "Black Butterfly” were enacted not only by Republicans like Agnew, Nixon, and Reagan, but by Democrats like O’Malley, Clinton, and Biden. The same political figures who failed to hold the Morgan State police accountable for the death of Tyrone West are the same leaders who begged state legislators to grant Johns Hopkins a private police force. If we want different results, we must build power outside of the establishment institutions that have oppressed our city.
We, the people who make Baltimore great--the workers, elders, youth, students, teachers, parents, caregivers, organizers, activists, artists, and musicians--we know that we can’t keep electing the same establishment politicians and expect different results. Jack Young, Brandon Scott, and Martin O’Malley’s former chief of staff Matthew Gallagher will not challenge wealthy developers, Johns Hopkins, or the Baltimore Police Department.
If we want to put the needs of Black communities over the greed of Inner Harbor developers, if we are serious about giving young people agency over the resources they need to succeed, if we are committed to localizing a Green New Deal that will provide reparations and a remedy for environmental racism, then we need to challenge those responsible for these policies outside of the structures they dominate.
We are calling on you-- Baltimoreans with knowledge of and solutions for your neighborhoods-- to run for office with the Green Party in 2020. We share your vision of a Baltimore reenergized by the values of social justice, nonviolence, anti-racist environmentalism, feminism, and grassroots democracy. It’s time to stand up, fight back, and build power.