Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore… I don’t even know where to begin with this. First of all, I just wanted to commend all of the people who tried to keep the peace amidst the chaos since the disorder began over this death. It takes a special kind of person to stand up and tell a bunch of non-peace loving people to stop acting like a bunch of wild animals. This includes the Vietnam Veteran who stood in front of the police lines last night in his own neighborhood and told rioters to go home. His name is Robert Valentine. Valentine made his point very clear. What is happening is irrelevant. He is not black, white, yellow, or red. He is an American.
The woman who saw her son in the crowd of rioters while she was watching the news came out to get her son. She slapped him over and over again on camera, and that is what she is supposed to do. She is supposed to keep her children safe and keep them from making mistakes that could ultimately cost them their lives. This mother is to be commended for doing her part, as all parents should.
Go Mama Bear!
Next on the list are the peaceful protesters who went out on the streets with the intention of bringing attention to a situation that they see as injustice. There is nothing wrong with protesting and keeping it peaceful. That’s what you are supposed to do, fight for what you believe in without hurting the people who you say that you want to help. The only thing I will say is that it probably wasn’t a good idea to do so yesterday out of respect for Freddie Gray’s family. They made it clear that they did not want anyone protesting the day of his funeral, let alone cause havoc in the city. It is disrespectful to do such things to a family who is grieving. And before anyone says it, I know I’m white, but I must say, I wasn’t anymore impressed with Westboro Baptist Church for the same type of behavior. Yes, there, I have said it; I am comparing the rioters to Westboro Baptist Church. The difference is, Westboro Baptist were not violent.
Now for the real reason I am writing this blog today. What the hell do you think you are going to accomplish by tearing up your own neighborhoods? It makes no sense at all, but those out there protesting and their proponents say that this is what we get for “years of oppression”, etc. What is it that we get? Here is what we get. We get to see you make a fool of yourselves on international newscasts. We get to see your neighborhoods burning down. We get to see you carried off the streets and arrested ultimately leading to a possible lifelong record that will haunt you. The only thing you have done via the violence is to prove all of those people right who you are supposedly fighting against. This is not about Freddie Gray. This is more about getting free stuff and wreaking havoc on your own neighborhoods. Maybe it is time to break it down.
Yup, that'll show us...
That'll show us too...
And this really showed us what's what...
1. Freddie Gray is arrested, videos show that he likely had a broken leg when police dragged him into the police van. Freddie was alive when he was placed in the van, but dead when he was taken out. Police were in the process of an investigation and further investigations by outside forces was inevitable. Some people, who would not normally get involved, i.e. white people, see that this was probably a case of injustice, unlike those cases where someone was holding a gun to an officer and that is why they were shot, and those white people were starting to say, “hey, there’s something not right about this.”
2. Peaceful protesters come out in support of the family and for human rights. All goes well until it doesn’t and all hell breaks loose in the city. It is a relatively small riot, but it’s not quite over yet.
3. Freddie’s family buries their loved one and all hell breaks loose again. This time, buildings are set on fire, stores are looted, police vehicles are set on fire, fire lines are cut, and fifteen police officers are injured because people are throwing bricks and rocks.
So, dear rioters, here is what you really accomplished:
The people in the poor neighborhoods who have been trying to rebuild the area since the 1968 riots (and do you see a pattern here?) in the same area, become your victims. Nearby businesses are burned to the ground, therefore, there is a good chance that some of these businesses will never consider having a business in that area again. This means less available jobs for the people in the area, and less availability to resources in the area for the people who need it most. And what really galls me is that a building meant for the senior citizens in the area was burned to the ground. Affordable housing for senior citizens in the very neighborhood you proclaim to be protecting. That’s some effed up stuff right there. You even burnt some people out of their homes because, hellllllllo in there, there are apartments over some of those businesses. If your goal was to destroy a neighborhood that has just begun to recover from a decades old riot, job well done.
Martin Luther King video discussing rioting. Listen to the whole thing.
Kent State Massacre Footage
I’m not done, but I don’t have time to think about this anymore. If I do, I think my head will explode. The short of it is that the rioters who have destroyed the city are not in it because they want to see change. They are in it for their own selfish gain whether that be from looting stores or from the sick pleasure they are enjoying over destroying the very people they claim to care about. Not the brightest crayons in the box, are you?