MC Students Speak on Baltimore Protests, Violence

Baltimore+Protesters+Hand+Up+Dont+Shoot

Tuesday ,April 28: Baltimore Protesters Hand Up Dont Shoot (Photo Credit: Peter Langer)

(video by: Madison Lotierzo)

 

Riots broke out in Baltimore less than three weeks after the death of Freddie Gray. He died in the hospital after sustaining injuries while in police custody.

 

On Monday, April 27, around midday, the violence began. Rioters clashed with police, since then there has been multiple cases of looting, arson, and overall violence within the Baltimore community.

 

The National Guard was called in to maintain order and prevent more outbreaks of violence. Governor Larry Hogan announced that Baltimore is in a state of emergency. The National Guard stepped in to address the unrest.

 

Montgomery College students voiced their opinions on the turmoil in Baltimore. Freshman Kat Sibara said “I think it’s contradicting because we are against the violence but they’re putting more violence in the community, which doesn’t make sense because you’re ruining your community and showing them how black people can’t communicate in the right way.”

 

Kat Sibara expressed disappointment from the recent turn of events. “People that are in the community that weren’t taking part of the violence still became victims of it.”

 

The effect the riots have had on the younger generation is alarming as more children engage in anger. “We have other younger children who are watching this and that are basically following right in their footsteps… they think that it’s correct to be acting like hoodlums,” Kat claimed.

 

“The whole idea of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is important, and I’m glad we are more about it,” said Sibara. “But with the violence, we’re showing them [white people] why they stigmatize us as violent people who aren’t peaceful, which isn’t true,” she added.

 

According to MC sophomore, Earwin Guedon, “We [African-Americans] need to set a different tone, not just violence against violence. That’s the whole purpose of why we’re mad.”

 

“They have the right to be angry but being violent is never the solution. They have to be more diplomatic about it and talk. That’s true that talking’s hard because people are not really listening but being violent is never the solution,” said Geudon.

 

MC sophomore, Sali Konat mentioned, “even the family of Freddie Gray didn’t want violence. That’s not what they’re about.”

 

East Baltimore Store has Glass Broken
Tuesday ,April 28: East Baltimore Store has Glass Broken (Photo Credit: Peter Langer)

 

“I don’t think it’s about black lives anymore. The whole purpose was to protest and mourn and try to change something, but this isn’t going to change anything. They’re destroying the city and now they’re just going to have to pay more taxes if the government decides to restore it,” said Konat.

 

Another MC student justified the riots by stating, “great personalities like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, those are the people who have done achievements to bring equality among all Americans. They died but they have died with the cause, and what they believe in. Therefore the white policemen will try to always hurt them because their discrimination never changed, ever since slavery. They still have that hatred inside.”

 

These issues have been prevalent in American society for decades. The MC student continued by saying “It’s escalated over the years… you still feel and see the anger of the blacks. ”

 

Opinions have been varied a range MC students, however one thing is common, there needs to be a solution apart from violence.

 

Protesters and Local Fire Department in Front Burnt Down CVS Store
Tuesday ,April 28: Protesters and Local Fire Department in Front Burnt Down CVS Store (Photo Credit: Peter Langer)
Saturday, April 25: Local Police in Baltimore
Saturday, April 25: Local Police in Baltimore (Photo Credit: Lauren Bulbin)