Flipping between FOX News and CNN this week, I lost count how many times I said, “Oh my God, this is BALTIMORE?” aloud. The clips and images that flashed across my screen left me speechless and filled with all sorts of feels. Looting, violent riots, buildings set aflame? The National fuckin’ Guard? That happens in distant places, in war zones, not in my backyard.
I am, of course, talking about the Baltimore riots, a violent clashing of protestors and police that quickly spiraled out of control. While, of course, there still are very peaceful protests regarding the death of 25-year-old Freddie Grey, the focus has been on the extreme violence and turmoil that has forced people to leave Baltimore for their own safety.
On Tuesday, the people of Baltimore gathered to assess the damage and pick up the pieces to fix our home. Photos and videos were shared, showing the very real dangers and terrors that happened in our neighborhoods. Not all of them painted the bleak picture that many have of Baltimore. Some showed clergy praying in the streets, one showed a man guarding a liquor store with a machete, and one even showed a mother drag her son away from participating in the riots, screaming at him “You wanna be out here doing this dumb shit?!”
Enter the Michael Jackson Protestor. A man who, instead of terrorizing the streets of Baltimore, is moonwalking his way to change.
Dimitri Reeves has been dubbed the “Michael Jackson of Baltimore.” He is known around the area for his MJ impersonations, and just recently starting doing street performances. He also has a budding music career, and you can listen to his music on his website. Reeves admits that the performances have helped get his music out there, but the true the motive behind his dancing and lip-syncing is to spread positivity and peace. In a phone interview with The National Post, Reeves spoke out about his performances.
“I’ve been doing this two years and it’s really been blood sweat and tears, so it feels great to have that attention. But mainly what we’ve been doing this for is to promote peace. Think. It’s as simple as that. My message to people is just to think before you react. We’re just so quick to react that — just think about what we’re doing here. That’s the only thing I can say: just think.”
He’s danced to “Beat It” in the middle of a busy intersection, danced on top of a truck, and even performed “Man in The Mirror” to riot police. Maybe it’s time we take a step out of his routine (get it?) and start spreading peace, love, and dance moves for a better, safer, tomorrow..
Image via Youtube