My ex-girlfriend liked to drink- a lot. At first, I would get so angry when a perfectly good evening was ruined by her getting sloppy drunk. I became outraged when I’d have to stop the car while she vomited. It was enraging. After each incident, an argument would ensue and a lot of emotional energy was spent. One day I finally wised up. I realized that this was the person she chose to be and if that didn’t work for me, I needed to distance myself from her or at least her drinking.
“I don’t like to predict violence, but if nothing is done between now and June to raise ghetto hope, I feel this summer will not only be as bad but worse than last year.”
Those were Dr. King’s words in March 1968. That summer, his prediction materialized as Baltimoreans, frustrated with poor housing, unemployment and discrimination took to the streets.
In the days since Dylan Roof’s terror attack on black parishioners at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, a renewed energy and focus of activism has arisen around the battle flag of the Confederacy; the origins of the current advocacy, I’m unclear of. Cries to remove the flag from the South Carolina state house have come from the most unlikely of allies, including Mitt Romney. Other states are seeing a similar movement, like Maryland, where even Larry Hogan came out against the use of the Confederate Flag on state license plates. Frankly, this is all quite sad and a clear statement of the powerlessness of black folks in America: nine lives in exchange for a flag?