What Young People Are Saying About Baltimore

by Camonghne Felix

We polled over 4,000 young people in Baltimore and Maryland. 3,914 responded. Now we’re sharing the numbers, responses, and feelings of the young people of Maryland.

One word describing their personal feelings about Baltimore:

Whether they or someone they know has been racially profiled:

  • “Baltimore is not bad city but its very corrupt, Officers taking advantage of their power. These riots are not good for the city but we have hit our boiling point.”
  • “I’m not hurt physically, I’m destroyed mentally and emotionally. My people, my brothers, my sisters are hurting. This is a cry for help not judgment”

Whether they or someone they know has been a victim of police violence:

  • “Riot is the language of the unheard”. Violence may not be the direct answer, but staying peaceful hasn’t gotten us very far. I support Baltimore.”
  • “Baltimore youth has come together for a bigger cause, and we are not backing down no matter the consequences. We have the media’s attention. Now it is time for us to simmer down on the violence and make our voices heard to get answers, change, and justice. Police officers are citizens too, why aren’t they trialed as one?”

Whether you or someone you know has been racially profiled AND a victim of police violence:

  • “I wish it was peaceful in Baltimore, but the people are fed up with police brutality. What is it going to take to make people realize that black lives matter? This is just the beginning of a social revolution.”
  • “I just hope that nobody else has to die.”

Whether they think the media is accurately representing what’s happening on the ground:

  • “There is going to be so much good that comes out of these protests. To bad no ones going to see that because of the media.”
  • “We never started any of this. We didn’t want this. Stand strong brothers and sisters. Stay safe.”

They shared words of encouragement for Baltimore:

  • “You are righteously angry. Fight for what’s right and take care.”
  • “Riots are the speeches of the powerless and voiceless. Unfortunately it seems that this is the only way the government will listen.”
  • “Baltimore I am on your side. The media needs to show also the good that is happening there. Not just the bad.”
  • “Violence is expressing the words that are not being heard, but it is not the answer. Starting today, we are rebuilding… Our city and our morals.”

Beyond “disappointment” and “fear”, young people texted in another word to describe how they feel: revolutionary. We hear that.

Want to take immediate action? Join the conversation about the school-to-prison pipeline here or text “SCHOOL” TO 38383.

To learn more about Baltimore and Freddie Gray, read this post that our Discrimination Campaigns associate wrote for Teen Vogue.

Originally published at blog.dosomething.org.

Camonghne Felix is a writer, NYC native, and DoSomething.org’s new Discrimination Campaigns Associate. She is the author of the book “Yolk,” likes the colors pink, purple, and clear and is figuring out how to enjoy her new gluten-free existence.

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