I am pretty heartbroken over what's happening in Milwaukee. I was born and raised in Milwaukee. I hated it. It was a segregated desert of a place with 0 opportunities for young people of color. And whites there seem to bear their ignorance like a proud flag.
Growing up there sucked. I was miserable and clawing at elsewhere. It especially sucked in the summer, when school let out. By the time I was 13, the city had banned us from the malls and the skating rinks. The literal two spaces where black kids hung out. Summer programs weren't cheap, transportation sucked and our parent(s) spent all day at work.
So what did we do all day? N O T H I N G. If you were lucky, maybe your mom took you to the library after work, or maybe the basketball courts weren't too far of a walk. However, if you were like the young folks on TV, you have nothing to do. Zero opportunities for meaningful social stimulation, summer learning or work. You get to hang out in decaying houses without air conditioning and bite your lower lip as that same cop car passes your block for the umpteenth time, and wonder to yourself: "So they can spend money on patrolling us, but not educating us? It's 50 people in my math class..."
You get to be painted as savages and criminals by people that have done nothing to even attempt to understand the grotesque extent to which your neighborhood and your people have been historically looted and systemically terrorized. You jump at the chance to be heard, no matter what language you're speaking, because finally someone, anyone is listening.
My heart breaks for the young black folks of Milwaukee who are marginalized and made invisible each day. The ones who fear the police, just like I did growing up. The ones who are restless and dying to be heard, just like I was. These people know they deserve better. They will not be docile. They will not bow to the city's fucked up scheme of segregation and deprivation. They will not be silenced. We will not be silenced.