Voices of the Unheard


Salon is killing it in its coverage of Baltimore. Good on them. Here are a few excerpts.

From, Protester perfectly explains why nonviolent protesting is not always effective:

“My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear and nobody heard us,” she said. “So now that we’ve burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us.”

“Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry?” Danielle continued. “I mean, enough is enough. We’ve had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough.”

From Civility in Baltimore?: Are we really surprised when people whose lives are endangered, 24/7, resort to violence to be heard?, reporting an exchange between Wolf Blitzer of CNN and a community organizer named DeRay McKesson:

Consider these exchanges: Blitzer, “You want peaceful protests, right?” To which McKesson replies, “Yeah, for sure. And remember, the people who have been violent are the police.” Blitzer then rattles off the statistics, not of black people killed, but of police injured, property damage and numbers of arrests. He then says, “There’s no excuse for that kind of violence, right?” To which McKesson replies, “There’s no excuse for the seven people the Baltimore police killed in the past year, right?” Finally, exasperated by McKesson’s tenacity, Blitzer pleads, “I just want to hear you say there should be peaceful protests.” McKesson then says, “There should be peaceful protests. But I don’t need to condone it [the violence] to understand it.” This is precisely the heart of the matter — the utter unwillingness of Blitzer to step out of his punditry to actually see what is going on, and has been going on for decades. Without that understanding, his attempts to ascertain the relative violence against and by police are futile, for he has given up anything resembling journalistic objectivity. [emphasis mine]

If only the mainstream would report like this.

If only.


  1. Based upon the caption, I thought you were going to use this quotation from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King:

    “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

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