Frederick Douglass cast in bronze outside the New York Historical Society,
Another City Loosing Itself to Greed
Now the white male republican governor rounds on the black woman democratic mayor--baying the old fascist words, "more boots on the ground," more boots to ground the hopeless, the unwanted reminders of apartheid Baltimore, of Maryland's slave owning history, further away from the sun. Frederick Douglass born into slavery along the sandy shores of this state wrote in the mid 1800s of strangled dignities and his refusal to live under the shadow of white institutional hypocrisies. '"Let me be free! Is there any God? Why am I a slave? I will run away. I will not stand it. Get caught or get clear, I'll try it. I had as well die with ague as the fever. I have only one life to lose. I had as well be killed running as die standing..It cannot be that I shall live and die a slave. I will take to the water." A great dignity of word and deed was born in that moment. America has always had the choice to make between boots on the ground and historical understandings, between accumulated wealth and exiled communities. We see it once again. The woman mayor saying, they were 14 and 15 year olds, I was trying to keep from declaring war on our children. The man of power calling for quicker deaths of the unwanted.
Closer to the waters, to the bays where oysters are eaten in the thousands, their shells piling up on the sawdust floors, the others, those who have profited from the misery of others, live. The other side of the tracks, the other side of history.