I didn’t want to write about the Baltimore riots. I am knowledgeable and realize I shouldn’t waste space. I know the despicable acts we are watching play out come from a segment of the population that just wants to cause crime, not from protesters who want to make their point peacefully. I wanted to just let this pass without saying a word.
Watching the looting yesterday made it tough. As I watched folks break into a pharmacy, liquor store, mall, and several other locations I got angry. What right did they have to destroy someone else’s business and take whatever they pleased? Whatever happened to working hard, earning your money, and then entering a store with respect and making a purchase? How does stealing and defacing property adequately address police wrongdoing?
For whatever reason it was the looting that got to me. I could get past the acts of arson and the people who stood in front of the police lines berating the officers who were trying to restore order to the city. Okay, fine. But the egregious theft bothered me.
I still held my ground though and decided not to respond to the riots. I wrote a silly blog post about my terrible grammar instead. But this morning I saw a few social media videos that really troubled me.
Taking place right where Sidney and I enjoyed a couple cold ones before walking to Camden Yards this past summer, shameful events took place. I watched as people on the street picked up whatever trash can, debris, brick, etc., they could find and hauled it at groups of folks on the bar patios. It didn’t matter that these groups were comprised of mostly females nor did the sight of a poor young lady in a wheelchair deter them; it was just reckless violence. As the rioters hollered degrading names to the victims they moved on, looking for the next spot to cause havoc. The targeted group went inside the bar where they tended to a woman who was struck in the face. Other videos showed similar things.
As a society right now we are in a very tough spot. With previous examples of law enforcement not doing the right thing, the officers on the street had to be very vigilant not to screw up again. Even though 99% of police officers are great at their jobs with high moral standards, they were understandably hesitant. But with the deep level of violence plaguing Baltimore yesterday, I wish the police would have been more supported by central leadership to step in and stop some of the really heinous acts before things really escalated. The fact of the matter is that the embarrassment going on right now in the streets is caused by many different races and no one group can be pinpointed for the destruction.
After visiting in August I am very aware that Baltimore is a tough city. The police have a challenging job and many citizens have to live in a rough environment. I just hope that the police force is empowered to do its job and that the people of Baltimore do all they can to stand up for their community. Don’t Blink.