By Vanessa Baden Kelly
As Freddie Gray was laid to rest, Americans watched as Baltimore residents protested the death of the 25 year old, whose spinal chord “mysteriously” snapped while in police custody–causing his death. On Friday, six officers were charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to murder.
As thousands marched in Baltimore’s street, hundreds of thousands more took to news outlets, blogs, and social media to comment on the protests that followed Gray’s death. What many black and brown people saw as reactionary anger to systematic racial injustice, many whites and conservatives saw as a threat to peace and dangerous civil unrest.
One Fox News reporter even suggested that the protests were so barbaric that cops should begin executing people in the street for their roles. Many whites and conservatives have failed to look for the root cause of these and other civil unrests around the country, and have moved to an easier and more comfortable narrative of lawlessness by criminals.
Their failure to ask the question, however, does not make it any less a question. Why have black and brown American’s alike been protesting, engaging in civil unrest, and riots? The answer is simple.