Our City is in Pain
We must have conversations about structural challenges
“I think America must see that riots do not develop out of thin air. Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But, in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard.”
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, “The Other America,’ April 1967
Of course, people must be held accountable for their actions – everyone must be held accountable, from the police associated with the death of Freddie Gray to the persons involved in inflicting their pain on the very businesses that are a part of our community.
We join with our neighbors, families and friends in supporting Baltimore. We applaud those everyday citizens and businesses who came out and continue to come out to volunteer to make a better Baltimore. We applaud all of our leaders seeking not just to restore peace but seeking to really listen to citizens and hear their voices.
We can and we will heal.
The question is: Will our healing simply cover the wound or will our healing go deep to carve out the root causes? We have to be prepared to address the systemic issues, many of them associated with institutional and structural racism. If we do not address these issues at the core of our challenges, we may very well find ourselves back here again. These structural issues are embedded in all of our systems and institutions and we must identify them and seek solutions inside of those structures as well. Addressing the structural issues will allow us to achieve transformational change for children, families, businesses, and organizations in our city.
ABC has long called for a deeper understanding, and a deeper look at the structural barriers that have produced the economic and health disparities along racial lines. We have created tools to encourage these conversations and tools to take a deeper look at the structural barriers. Dismantling institutional and structural racism must be embedded in all we do.
ABC, in partnership with Aspen/Baltimore and Baltimore Racial Justice Action, is prepared to work with neighborhood organizations and nonprofits to help them in having conversations about “institutional and structural racism” – what it is and what it isn’t, and how we can impact it together. We can truly begin to create One Baltimore, once we are willing to address these structural issues.
We will continue to seek additional partners who are willing to join with us to encourage and support this part of the work necessary for long term positive change.
We encourage you to support our push for more conversations about a deeper understanding of the institutional and structural barriers.