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"hardwood freddie" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

07:00 min | 2 months ago

"hardwood freddie" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Stay at home curfews go into effect for most of the bay area in about ten minutes as well can we this is fresh AIR let's get back to my interview with west more he's written extensively about police abuse of black men and women and the lack of accountability his new book five days is about the death of Freddie gray whose neck was broken while in police custody in Baltimore five years ago he died a week later I think what when we see large protests against the death of black men and women at the hands of police that the protests have several goals one is to test the death one is to demand accountability one is to express anger but I think one is also to try to raise consciousness and say look at this this matters this happened pay attention these things should not happen in the case of Freddie gray do you think any minds were changed by the protest the new profile several people and what their role was and how they responded during the course of those five days did you find people whose minds were really changed by the protests yeah I mean I think one of the fascinating to me about the experience of writing five days was not I was having so many conversations with people all over Baltimore and I'm and I was doing that while I was trying to process in my own mind what just happened and I also understood when looking at this issue that it wasn't just about Freddie's death it was also about Freddie's life and the issue of poverty the issue of systemic racism the issue of inequitable economic opportunities within communities was so stark and and also created an environment that was sold right for this type of explosion that took place if you if you look at the case of property right along you know Frederick was born months premature born underweight born addicted to heroin his mother never made it to high school and battled addiction much of her life when Freddie gray finally gained enough weight to be able to leave the hospital he and his twin sister and I moved into a housing project in north Kerry street over in west Baltimore in two thousand nine that house along with four hundred others were involved in a in a in a civil suit because of the endemic levels of lead that was inside that house the CDC indicates that a person has has six milliliters of every justly of of of a lead in her blood and that person will have commented damage lasting cognitive damage pretty great at thirty six and so this is a person who was born underweight premature addicted to heroin lead poisoned and at this time in Freddie's life he's two years old and so we have to be able to address this level of inequitable policing that takes place in our society and the lack of accountability that takes place when improper actions happen we also have to deal with the underlying conditions that are citizens and often times are citizens of color are repeatedly being allowed and being forced to indoor and if we don't address both those two things together we will continue just having to deal with the pain of the consequence of the one are you saying that you think Freddie gray's life was kind of preordained by the time he was to I I think Freddie gray before Freddie gray actually died before pretty great when it went into police custody and ended up in a coma free days Freddie gray could have died a hundred times before we are we are we know we have to we we can we permit these tragedies to recede from a memory we will risk the opportunity to change the systems there also will be responsible for all these injustices and so you're looking at a life like Freddie gray and it's one of these things when people tell me they're like well people in poverty should just work harder how hardwood Freddie had worked this idea that that that that poverty is somehow is somehow a mechanism of hard work not only is there no data reinforces that it's incredibly offensive to fax it's incredibly offensive when you consider the fact that when we think about you know that the birds for for twenty two percent of people that have lost their jobs during this call we nineteen crisis they were already living in poverty so think what that means that's the working poor people who have jobs and are still living in poverty and so we're talking about this idea of how do we move forward from this we have to understand that this is collective pursuit of justice it has to be as aggressive and intentional as the system wide injustice that we now encounter and so justice can not just mean how are we thinking about accountability four or four officers or how are we thinking about reformation about above other police system that's part of it that's part of the justice that is being sought but it's just it's it's also being sought must be an economic justice it must be held justice it must be housing justice it's looking at justice in every single frame because what we're seeing in these cases is we're watching we're watching all these very systems in the brokenness of the systems and have a confluence that then has destructive consequences on everything that takes place what's more thank you so much for talking with us and stay safe stay well you will thank you so much for having what's more is the author of the new book five days about Freddie gray and the five days of protest following his funeral we recorded our interview yesterday many critics of president trump see his threat to send in the military as a dramatic move toward authoritarianism tomorrow on fresh AIR we'll talk with an apple them he's been writing about the move toward authoritarianism in Europe and the US and is the author of the forthcoming book twilight of democracy her new article in the Atlantic is titled history will judge the complicit why have Republican leaders abandon their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president I hope you'll join us.