Answer The Question

I’m here. I’m watching. I’m waiting. The silence is deafening.
Answer question Jada Pinkett-Smith, and thousands of other people my color are asking.

What happened to Freddie Gray?
Credit Twitter & @jadapsmith

While many media outlets ignored a week of thousands of people of all races and ethnicities peacefully protesting we kept asking that question.

Remember everyone, including a suspect being arrested, has human and civil rights. This is America. We don't execute or beat people we are arresting. Doing so would put us in violation of our own laws. The head of the Fraternal Order of Police stated in an interview that "police don't want bad cops. They make our jobs dangerous." So why aren't you all answering this question?

I watched, as administrators and politicians derailed, deflected and ignored the question.
I’ve listened to the gaslighting of our people. I heard when peaceful protesters were called a "lynch mob" by one of those who is supposed to investigate what happened. I saw when the question of what happened to Freddie Gray was ignored by people too uncomfortable with the truth. I watched them hashtag blue lives matter and try to avoid the question of why what the entire world saw on video means nothing to authorities. I watched the baiting, the riot gear. the paintball guns, the slamming of Black people on the pavement. While the very impoverished and destitute people of Baltimore snapped, the media enjoyed its annual evening gala. They finally showed up, because now they could show stereotypes and deflect the horrific crime that occurred to Freddie Gray by pointing to the frailties of our people in poverty.  Politicians swam away from that question and jumped on the bandwagon of #bluelivesmatter, but they are trapped like giant carp swimming circles in a water filled kitchen sink. They have to return to that question and answer it.

What happened to Freddie Gray?

Maurina Richardson-Frierson, Edgewater, and her son, Amir Frierson, 9,
 watch the rally at City Hall from an elevated position.
Amir holds a sign that reads “I Am Not A Threat” that was created by his father.
March from Mount Street and Presbury Streets in Sandtown/WInchester
where Freddie Gray was arrested to CIty Hall to and rally related
to protest the death of Gray in police custody. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)
Enjoy calling Black people animals. Rush to get a place before a microphone. Call us thugs, say all our children are fatherless. You should all know. You are the ones filling our prisons with the fathers of those young men and women on any excuse. And you have the nerve to call Black people “lacking in morals”. Shame on you. Racism continuing in a country where we profess to teach morals and democracy to other countries is an bloody stain on the fabric of our nation.

No matter what you do, you have to answer that question.

It is not lost on me that no one has ever mentioned that the “rough ride” practice of harming any arrested person is actually using a vehicle as a weapon and therefore should be categorized as vehicular homicide. I didn't miss the fact that Mr. Gray called for medical help, and for his inhaler, repeatedly to no avail. I know that witnesses to the entire event are willing to risk police retaliation to tell what they saw. And yet:

  • No one was calling for an independent investigation of this case until finally, after delivering a blistering shower of threats against rioters, the new Attorney General of the U.S. spoke. (And now we hear the FBI and the DOJ are "assisting Baltimore police" in their investigation. Yeah. Remember Eric Garner? Michael Brown? Tamir Rice? Aiyana Stanley-Jones? We all know where this is going.)
  • No one in authority has attempted to answer the one question that everyone my color has been waiting for an answer to since this latest nightmare began.
  • No one is questioning why some members of the media are rushing to change the narrative and make it about police security and forget the question that will end all this drama.

I will not be moved. I have planted myself here,  waiting for justice and truth. I am asking.

What happened to Freddie Gray?

I refuse to let you impose a desperate Black woman publicly cursing and beating her son as some sort of hero and example to our people. She could have accomplished her goal without publicly abusing her son. And no one ever asked him. Why are you here? Why so much anger that you wish to destroy? 

I know the answer to that question.  No one asked because all of you know the answer too. You just can't look the truth in the eye and own it.

You simply can’t handle the answer so you label, gaslight, insult, and criminalize the victim.

But I, and hundreds of thousands of African American mothers, fathers, grandparents, teens, and children are looking at you.

Nothing you can do will make this go away. Even as Terrence Kellum was gunned down in his own home after being taken into custody, after authorities were freely given access to his home. Right in front of his family. Even as authorities fail to answer the question of why these killings continue, and why children like Kayleb Robinson are made felons for ridiculous infractions like kicking trash cans at age 11.

We are here. We are watching. We are listening. The silence is deafening.


Answer the question.


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