Unfortunately, it has become a Halloween routine: white people finding humor in Black pain. Stories will surface on social media over the next few days about people wearing blackface, nooses displayed for decoration and the like. Even though this outrageous behavior is commonplace, let’s not ignore it so that it becomes acceptable.
One of the latest insults surfaced on Twitter Sunday night. The tweet purports to show white teens wearing orange prison jumpsuits with the name “Freddie Gray” on the back. Two of them are identified as high school students who attend Baltimore private schools, and the third person is a recent graduate from one of those schools.
The first images reads: “ni**ers broke out”. And the second one states: “ur going to jail tonight”.
“This is the culture that continues to exist within Maryland’s private schools,” a comment about the images said. “Absolutely disgusting and completely inexcusable.”
Gray, a 25-year-old Black man from Baltimore, died in 2015 of a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. His cries for help went unanswered while officers transported him to the police station after his arrest. Gray’s death unleashed days of unrest in Baltimore’s Black community, where anger remains because no one was held accountable for his death.
One Twitter user called the insensitivity of the teens “heartbreaking,” adding that white people “often don’t experience the level of pain and horror by cops as brown and Black families do.”
Here are some other responses: