The city’s eruption follows decades of systemic failure. Photograph by Devin Allen
TIME Magazine revealed their latest cover, a chilling image of the Baltimore Uprising (their Instagram says “Riots”), comparing it to the protests of 1968, following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s assassination. Baltimore erupted in violent protests and their residents looted almost 1,000 local businesses. 700 people were injured and six people died.
Baltimore’s latest uprising has been far less violent following the untimely death of Freddie Gray, who’s spine was allegedly broken while under police custody. The unclear details have caused outrage in the people of Baltimore. There have been cars set on fire, stores looted and some protestors have thrown bricks, rocks and bottles at police officers. As of now, Baltimore’s protestors have calmed down, but there’s still plenty of demands for justice.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the city has paid out nearly $6 million in settlements to more than 100 victims of police brutality in the four years from 2011 through 2014. Something is wrong Baltimore.
The world has banned together in protest to demand change within our systematically racist system that continues to oppress minorities while now repeatedly letting us know that our lives don’t matter. The eerie comparisons of the plight of Black people to yesteryear’s fight for basic rights to be treated like a human being is disheartening. You’d think we’ve come so far, but we just keep seeing examples of the cyclical display of racism in America spinning out of control.
“We never really recovered from the riots of 1968,” Baltimore City Council president Jack Young told Time. “Our infrastructure was destroyed: butcher shops, clothing stores, supermarkets, all destroyed for one reason or another.” Proof enough that Baltimore is a city that’s built on a shaky foundation with undertones of a racial divide that never got a resolve. So when its residents cry out with such passion, it shouldn’t be a surprise. This has been a long time coming. We appreciate TIME for tackling a cover that’s here for conversation and perhaps a plan for real change in our country.