Baltimore seems to be on fire and the sad reality is that the moral high ground that could have been had is lost. Freddie Gray was buried today. He lost his life while in Baltimore police custody due to a severed spine. That is all I know — and actually all anyone knows.
However, what is playing out before our eyes is the depraved spectacle of anarchy, violence, wanton criminality and an utter lack of leadership. To have the mayor of Baltimore issue a statement allowing these thugs “space to destroy” is unconscionable. Is the rioting over Gray’s death or just an excuse for the most disgusting aspect of human nature?
Of course now, she’s walking that back. And adding curfews.
But the fact that police officers are being injured and that three black gangs have pledged allegiance in order to attack police is beyond disconcerting. What is there to gain by destroying one’s own neighborhood? Is this the new mantra of “no justice, no peace?”
Perhaps this would be somewhat understandable if it weren’t for the recent episode in North Charleston, South Carolina where a police officer fired several shots into the back of Walter L. Scott, killing him. There were no violent riots and the officer was arrested and charged. The Scott family even went so far as to demand that Al Sharpton not come to Charleston.
But in Baltimore they’ve had to cancel a baseball game and there are warnings for people to stay away from the city. The governor has finally declared a state of emergency to activate the National Guard. But where is the mayor of Baltimore? Where is the leadership for the city? Imagine the horns of a dilemma upon which the Baltimore police find themselves. The mayor basically gave carte blanche to the criminal thugs to take the streets and the police seemingly are only employed to try and contain the “destruction.”
As of now, 15 police officers have been injured. As the NY Post reported, “Baltimore police officers were injured on Monday as rioters threw bricks, broke windows, looted businesses and burned patrol cars in violent protests following the funeral of a black man who died after he was injured in police custody. The riots broke out just a few blocks from the site of the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in northwest Baltimore and then spread through other parts of the city in the most violent demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.
Television images showed mobs of rioters jumping on top of a police car, destroying a taxi and setting two other patrol cars on fire after teenaged crowds ignored calls to disperse and clashed with lines of hundreds of police. Gangs had threatened to target police officers, local law enforcement said. Schools, businesses and train stations closed in Baltimore, a city of 662,000 people 40 miles (64 km) from the nation’s capital.”
So we are watching the result of a social media post calling for a “purge” for Monday at 3pm. But this is not just about the death of Freddie Gray, this is about something far more tragic: the breakdown of the inner city and the black community.
Where are the parents of these kids? Where are the adults and community pastors? Why are these kids responding to this call for violence instead of heading home and preparing for end of year final exams? Does anyone believe these looted businesses will be restored — therefore black unemployment in Baltimore will be even worse. Perhaps if there were a thriving job market and better opportunities, these black teens would be working in these stores, not looting them.
When I was watching the TV reports, Baltimore looked more like East Jerusalem than an American city with a proud patriotic heritage — Ft. McHenry the birthplace of our national anthem. And this is a city just some 40 miles away from our nation’s capitol — where is the leadership that demands this behavior is unacceptable?
The Baltimore police are showing incredible restraint because we all know the liberal progressive media is just waiting for some unarmed — although I consider tossing a brick a projectile — black kid to get shot.
My greatest fear is that there will come a day when police basically leave the urban communities to their own devices — in other words, abandon them and let them be overrun by gangs and other perpetrators of deplorable behavior. After all, the anarchist sentiment is to not abide by the rule of law — but rather to take matters into the hands of the mob and establish the rule of mobocracy. And if there are no elected officials willing to support the police — realizing that there are bad apples in any batch — then what is the motivation for police officers to patrol those disrespectful and unwelcoming streets?
Freddie Gray tragically lost his life, we know little about how or why. What we do know is that the black community of Baltimore is not comporting itself in a manner that will garner sympathy — but rather contempt.