Back to the Future

Not the right response to a wrongful death.
Not the right response to a wrongful death.

Back in 1968 Baltimore had bad riots for other reasons. This time around isn’t so fun either. Plenty of writers have penned their opinions on the Baltimore riots that have so far caused 144 car fires and lead to 200 arrests. Many of them don’t live in the city, nor do they really know what’s going on. I’m living it. Shit is ridiculous. Looting is stealing and protesting is rioting. This was peaceful at one point. Then the kids of Baltimore decided to take it upon themselves to ratchet things up.

Let’s call a spade a spade and be blunt in this scenario, because Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was too light in her assessment of what was going down and coming in her direction. She said she was going to give them space to vent their frustrations. I forget the direct quote but it was shameful and she should resign now. Mondawmin Mall was completely wrecked and all this happened around 3pm as schools let out. Not sure how keeping them out of school will help, but there were actually curfews for juveniles in the city of Baltimore long before any of this ever happened.

A lack in number of police officers (about 3000) has about half made it absolutely necessary to ask to bring in 500 officers from the state of Maryland and 5000 from the region. Now all adults have a curfew of 10pm to 5am. Business are closed. People are going to lose jobs. This is crazy. A senior center/community center/job hub was burned down in East Baltimore last night. Why do that? You’re ruining the infrastructure put in place to provide resources. Why burned down CVS? Two, in fact! Now old people can’t get their meds (among other things). Many pictures online depict people running away with toilet paper. Guess we all need essentials, even the looters.

And let’s get to the reason that all of this is happening in the first place, Freddie Gray. The police apparently didn’t give him proper care. Not only did they not buckle him in but they didn’t get him help when he was having trouble with his asthma. The cops didn’t drive him directly to the police station and actually picked someone else up first. The cops involved should be found guilty of murder. No doubt about it. Someone is guilty. Just because this guy has a rap sheet longer than the Beatles’ list of #1 hits is irrelevant when considering that this should never have happened. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a bad person. Let’s not get this mixed up here people. Drug dealers aren’t “good people” as he’s been characterized in numerous accounts. That doesn’t give anyone the right to kill him.

If things get worse then you can only blame those that were at fault in the first place. And when you talk about “those people responsible” then let’s be honest. It wasn’t white people. Race relations were already set back years after the actions of the white officers across the country that have made poor choices in judgment (or outright been racist- who really knows?), but you don’t fight violence with violence. The right people are out there on the streets trying to calm things down. Rival gangs (Bloods and Crips among others) have banded together to calm things down. There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that things calm down, but there’s just currently too many what if’s that make citizens in Baltimore (myself included) feel very uncomfortable.

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