I just finished writing a 500 word essay called A Cure For Baltimore, but upon proofreading it, I threw it in the trash. It was a scathing indictment against the rioters of Monday night and all of the “excuses” offered up by activists and commentators who sympathized with their actions. I decided I couldn’t publish it. The complexity of this issue is as hard as a diamond with just as many sides; the coalescing of several broken segments of society aligning all at once like a rare planetary eclipse.
It needs to be discussed, but unfortunately, people just can’t seem to talk anymore. Too many words and subjects have been eliminated as taboo from our freedom of speech. Too many exploiters have institutionalized racism as an alternative to personal accountability. Speaking one’s mind has been replaced by performing for the cameras; filtering and modifying one’s words to incite and appease an ever present audience.
While we don’t yet know, and may never know, the facts behind Freddie Gray’s death, most of us agree it doesn’t “feel” right and someone needs to pay. Did the Baltimore citizens who worked and shopped at the CVS need to pay? Did the thousands of working people blocked from getting home to their families by protestors in several cities need to pay? Did the residents of Baltimore who lost their homes and cars and businesses need to pay?
Uncontrolled emotion is a powerful and destructive thing. How many of you have ever “lost it” at some point during an extremely stressful day at work? Maybe you were under too much pressure from your boss, while simultaneously worrying about something happening at home with your kid or your apartment or your spouse. And you simply lost it. You didn’t count to ten. You didn’t stop and think first. It’s happened to me more than once, and each time I invariably regretted it. Now… imagine you are a police officer.
There is no free pass for what happened to Freddie Gray, and if the facts bear it out, someone must pay. While we all know there are a minority of bad cops, I suggest to you that the bigger problem is that there are way too many bad laws. As a society, black and white, we have been regulated into captivity. We are all in a pressure cooker TOGETHER, waiting for that next emotional explosion.
Burning buildings and blocking hard-working people from getting home HELPS NOTHING. You activists out there wanna make a difference? Instead of pitting fellow human beings against each other, focus your energy, efforts and good intentions on reviewing and reforming the thousands of bad and suppressive laws. THEN… maybe we can be free to stand up and move forward. Peace, love, dove homies.