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Show a little compassion for the Baltimore riots


Scrolling through Facebook these last couple of days has been heartbreaking. I have been bombarded by post-after-post from people attacking what has been going on in Baltimore. Every single one has been from a white person stating, “This isn’t going to help those people get anything they want,” or “What are they trying to prove?” Some people have even resorted to posting a “funny” status in Ebonics, to try and make the riots in Baltimore part of their stand-up routine, which is bound to get nowhere because they simply aren’t funny. S

But what is most surprising is the number of fellow members of the LGBT community who have joined the army of ignorance. One post on my timeline read, “The rioters should take notes from us gays who are accomplishing things the right way.” It was a small line in a very long post about the Supreme Court, which was hearing arguments about gay marriage yesterday.

My only reaction to that is: really queen?

Now, I don’t know this person particularly well. I’m not even sure how we came to be Facebook friends, but he clearly doesn’t know where our movement stemmed from. It started with a riot. A riot that lasted days, and left Christopher Street in New York City riddled with fire and broken glass. But no one labeled Marsha P. Johnson as a criminal when she threw a brick at a police officer. We see her as a hero. A trailblazer. A pioneer for the queer movement.

The people in Baltimore are feeling exactly what our predecessors felt in 1969. They feel trapped. They feel hurt. They are tired of being harassed and gunned down. But most of all, these people need our support. They need our love. They need our appreciation.

Before you take to judging something from behind your computer, please note that you have no idea what these people are going through. You don’t know what is really happening on the streets of Baltimore. You have no right to label and judge the people standing up for their livelihood. So stop shaking your head at the news and try a little compassion.

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