Freddie Gray died because he looked at someone wrong

Eric Garner died for selling loosies.

IMG_0385Walter Scott died because he ran.

Michael Brown died…well, we’re not sure why.

So when people decry the violence in Baltimore that follows the severed spine of Gray, I could not agree more. No one should use violence against someone — not police officers, not African American men. No one. Violence begets violence. It isn’t right.

So: Blessings and peace on the Baltimore clergy who tried to quell the furor by locking arms and walking down the streets.  Blessings and peace on poor Baltimore children, who face worse conditions, according to this study, than youth in Nigeria. And blessings and peace on Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos for seeing this for what it is. He writes:

…speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

Blessings and peace on the rest of us, too.

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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  1. Amen!

    I was watching Anderson Cooper 360 last night and AC was talking with reporters who were on the streets in Baltimore. One guy, face covered, was upset about the damage and looting in his neighborhood. He said he wanted justice, but didn’t want his neighborhood destroyed. He needed a CVS. Then, they interviewed this older guy from the neighborhood, Robert Valentine, who stood out in front of the police line, alone, and told the trouble-making teens to go home. And, they eventually did. He looked like a hero to me. Here he is:

  2. I lived in Baltimore for 6 years in the early 70’s. And I was there this past week, leaving on Saturday morning just before Mr. Gray’s funeral. It breaks my heart to see that the poorest of Baltimore are poorer still. There are no jobs, no way for them to move beyond the poverty that grips them. The gap between them and the wealthiest has grown. Those of us who can see this must work to elect local, state and federal officials who can work for change. Listen to Elizabeth Warren. Listen to Bernie Sanders. Listen to the poor of this country.

    1. Amen. I went to school near there, and spent no small amount of time there working as an intern for the now-gone Baltimore Evening Sun. There are no jobs. Violence is not OK. It just isn’t. But if we don’t understand where this comes from, we are missing a powerful opportunity to make things right. Or at least to shut up and listen.

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