With the U.S. National Guard pulling out troops from Baltimore and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake lifting the citywide curfew imposed in the wake of last week’s unrest, things seems to be returning to normal. However, most Americans believe this peace will be short-lived and foresee more racial demonstrations in the summer.
In a recent poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, 53 percent of whites and 46 percent of African Americans agreed that riots similar to Baltimore and Ferguson might occur in metropolitan area nearest to them in the coming months.
The survey, with 508 adults interviewed between April 28 and 30, highlights not only the fact that Americans expect more racially charged protests, but also the fact the fact that both the communities – African Americans and whites – have highly conflicting viewpoints regarding the riots that stem from alleged police brutality.
While black people blame police for the mistreatment of African Americans, whites deem lawlessness in minority community as the reason behind the unrest.
It all became evident when 60 percent of black respondents explained recent confrontations between the police and the African-American community as result of “long-standing frustrations about police mistreatment of African Americans.” On the other hand, about 27 percent said that people use these events to spread violence.
The opinion was flipped completely when it came to the white community, 58 percent of who believe that black people solely use these incidents as an excuse to loot and riot. The other 32 percent claimed these incidents to be the outcome of community’s frustration with the police.
Simply said, these opposing outlooks highlight deeply ingrained beliefs and contribute to the vicious cycle of racism and violence, which will continue to foster unless there is some kind of intervention on larger scale. However, by the looks of things, that does not seem possible right now.
The riots in Baltimore occurred after the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African American who died from spinal cord injuries he sustained in police custody. In the past, similar events broke out after the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Missouri, Ferguson.