Be the change you want to see in the world.

I caught this article being passed around Facebook. The (major?) gangs in Baltimore have realized that after all this time, blood, tragedy, and outcry, there’s been no changes to the system. And the changes they need to the system may never happen in their lifetime. Rather than waste more energy trying to make a difference, they decided to just come together and make a difference themselves.

“What the fuck is a thug? Everybody wants to call somebody a thug but has anybody gotten on TV and told you what the fuck a thug is yet? Because they don’t know. … Is there a difference between us right now and [the cops] right now? What’s the difference? I don’t see a difference so if I’m a thug, they a thug. Only difference is they got a gun, all I got is hands and feet. They have direct orders if things get out of hang to shoot and kill. I have direct orders just to make it home safe and make sure everybody else get home safe. So I don’t know who’s the thug?

“I just feel like if you don’t understand something you shouldn’t speak on it. You come down here, we gonna show you nothing but love and a whole lotta respect. You talk to us; and if you not ready to talk to us, than don’t judge us.”

Article: “We Ain’t Choosing No Sides; We Just Choosing Our Side”: The gangs of Baltimore believe they can do a better job policing their community than the police.

I’m sad to say this story isn’t all change and hope. Amy Nelson, the writer of the story, has been keeping tabs on the men and women she talked to, and it’s going downhill.

“The gangs feel they are being targeted by police because of their unity. First with the five arrests on Saturday night, then on Monday afternoon when they say one member, Meech, was shot by police. In a briefing on the street Monday afternoon, the Baltimore Police Department denied anyone had been shot or injured. But other gang members told me he was and then they were subsequently maced.”

Continuing updates here: https://medium.com/@amyknelson

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