To Those who Complain about Baltimore

Despite all the humanitarian issues going on around the world - the earthquake in Nepal and all the people still trapped, allegations of UN troops raping children in the CAR, migrants literally dying to get to Europe, people escaping TO Rwanda, Indonesia executing foreigners, indefinite refugee detentions, Obama never making good on his original campaign promise to close Gitmo, the school girls Boko Harem kidnapped, Syria, and that's just off the top of my head - the US is focused on Baltimore.

If you don't pay attention to the US media - good for you, it's all wrong anyways - here's what happened, in a nutshell.   Freddie Gray was arrested.   At the time of his arrest, he was alive and able to walk just fine.  He was put in a paddy wagon for transport.   When he arrived, his spine was broken and he died.

As you can imagine, people were very upset by this.  There has been a lot of attention on the racial disparity in American police actions and on American police brutality.   (I am not making a statement about whether the allegations are or are not true; there is a lot of data out there and analyses on the topics).  People decided to protest the Baltimore police and their treatment of Freddie Grey.  This started out peaceful, as civil disobedience.  Then the riots started.  It takes one stone to start a riot, and from there things get messy.   They have had to call in the National Guard and are trying to prevent "another Ferguson. "


This is what I have to say to all the people who are picking sides and focusing on how the other side is wrong:

Shut up.  Before you say another word about what is going on, I want you to answer me this question - what caused this to happen?  If you see a problem, don't just complain about it - do something to fix it!

If your answer blames someone or a group of someones, then I am going to send you back to think some more.  If your answer is the death of Freddie Gray, you are going back to keep thinking.  If you blame the police, go back.  If you blame the people who rioted, go back.

If you think Ferguson happened because Michael Brown was shot, go back and think some more.   If you think it happened because anything can be done to a young black man, go back and think some more.  If you think it happened because people are lazy, go back.

I am not saying your views are wrong or that mine are right (though we know I am right, we just don't need to say it).  What I am trying to say is find the root of the problem.

Nothing happens in a vacuum.   These deaths sparked protests - but they were just sparks.  On their own, sparks die out instantly unless they catch something.   So what was there for them to catch on to?  What gave them such fuel to do this?  That is the answer I am looking for.

If you are going to talk about the protests and riots in Baltimore, talk about this.  Talk about what built up so that the spark could catch.  And talk about what to do to fix it.  Otherwise, haud yer wheesht.

No comments:

Post a Comment