Baltimore: Dead Bodies, Ceasefires, and Guerrilla Gardens
CAN WE STOP PRETENDING these people are some kind of asset and not our greatest liability (as our ancestors and the founding fathers of America knew them to be)?
If you’ve read The City that Bleeds: Race, History, and the Death of Baltimore, you know Black people in Baltimore carefully protect their 70 percent Black city from gentrification by using Black criminality to keep out White people from recolonizing their city and ever being a demographic threat to Black political power.
So what does Black political power look like? Not so shockingly, exactly what you’d expect Black dysfunction to look like. [Baltimore mayor creating office to steer Black men from crime and violence, Baltimore Sun, 2-2-18]
In 1918, Baltimore was almost 90 percent White. It didn’t need an Office of African American Male Engagement to try and steer the Black minority from committing crime, because laws were put in place to deal with Black criminality swiftly and to protect White residential/commercial property owners from the consequences of Black dysfunction.
But what does a city look like where those laws are gone? [Volunteers plant ‘guerrilla’ gardens as Ceasefire tribute to shooting victims, Baltimore Sun, 5-12-18]:
Michelle Moore never will forget the night she returned home to Barclay Street, pregnant with her now 15-month-old daughter, to find a man shot dead in the street near the elementary school. The victim, identified by police as Domonique Thaniel, 37, had been riding his bicycle through the city’s Abell neighborhood that night in January 2017.
On Saturday, Moore and a group of volunteers returned to the site of the shooting to shovel dirt into planters and fill them with tomatoes, squash and cucumbers in Thaniel’s honor. The idea to bring light and plant life to places of darkness and death, one of dozens of Baltimore Ceasefire events around the city Saturday, came from Abell resident Crystallynn Fallier. Fallier, a 33-year-old ceramic artist, organized the planting of “guerrilla” gardens at murder sites throughout the city.
“It’s healing for the neighborhood to have a garden planted in his name,” Moore, a counselor who works with children, said of the tribute to Thaniel. She said she came to the Ceasefire event because witnessing the aftermath of a shooting shook her up, and because “I work with kids, and I work with too many kids who have lost parents or uncles to gun violence.”
This weekend’s “Ceasefire,” the fourth such grassroots effort to reduce and raise awareness about violence in the city, started Friday and was to run for 72 hours with events such as blood drives, rallies, movie nights, food collections and block parties. The mantra for the weekend, as with the previous Ceasefire weekends, was “Nobody kill anybody.”
As of midafternoon Saturday, Baltimore police had not reported any fatal shootings.
On Barclay Street, Fallier, 33, who runs Joules Studio from her Abell Avenue home, crouched near one of the raised beds created from leftover plastic rings that protect water meters outside city homes. She had seen work crews about to dispose of the rings and thought they’d make sturdy sidewalk planters. The idea to swoop into neighborhoods with plants grew from there.
“Today’s project is to physically bring plants, which collect light and energy, to the spaces where people have actually been murdered,” Fallier said. Going “guerrilla-style,” means just showing up and dropping in a planter, either near vacant or abandoned houses or murder sites. “As the lives were taken without permission, this was put together on a rather short notice, and we don’t necessarily have permission…I want to honor the lives and bring back light to where it has been stolen.”
Theresa Reuter of Hamilton Hills said she had attended past Ceasefire events and memorials, so on Saturday she decided to put on boots and a hat to go out and plant.
“We all need to raise our voices and put our bodies where our hearts are so that these places where our brothers and sisters have been murdered are remembered in a way that we can stop it happening anymore,” said Reuter, a retired elementary school art teacher and artist.
Where once Western civilization flourished, now White people plant ‘guerilla’ gardens where Black people have murdered other Black people.
There’s a metaphor for decline and ruin in this story if you look hard enough.
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Source: Stuff Black People Don’t Like