OK, I'm not going to recite the litany of incidents between police and black men during the past several months. We all know the places: Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; Staten Island, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; North Charleston, South Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; etc. And that list does not even include the killing of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland, California, here on the West Coast.
Yesterday I tweeted that the death of Freddie Gray, a young African-American man, after he incurred a severed spinal cord while in the custody of Baltimore police, after what videos suggested was excessive use of force by police, may just be the tipping point for young black men.
Notwithstanding a black woman mayor and a black police chief, Baltimore's young black men are saying, in effect, "Enough! Enough! Enough! We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!"
The violence that has erupted in Baltimore is a painful cry of anguish, anger, and hopelessness on the part of a segment of the local African-American community. Neither President Obama nor local congressmen nor recently sworn-in Attorney General Loretta Lynch (the nation's first black woman attorney general) nor Baltimore's African-American mayor and police chief has any "street cred" with these disenchanted and angry black youth.
Cumulatively, the seemingly endless images of white policemen using deadly force against black men sends a message that to most police, black lives don't matter, because, in the absence of any information to the contrary, black men are presumed to be engaged in criminal activity.
The response of black men in Baltimore is "F*** you!" This bears an eerie similarity to the events between Oakland police and young black men that spawned the formation of the Black Panthers.
Angry blacks in Baltimore, again, are saying, "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!"