Over the past week, I have watched hours of coverage from Baltimore. I have visited Baltimore before, and quite frankly, I loved it! At the time, I was writing an historical fiction novel that takes place in the 1840s. A sort of love story if you will. That story lost much of its steam in late 2008 and gave birth to Lazarus Rising. But my trip to Baltimore will always be a special time. It was right after my sister had graduated from college and originally meant to be a brother-sister gig. Instead, the group became much larger and we had a great time; minus the driving in Washington DC. Actually, our father, who was injured in Vietnam, commented that dying in a rice patty was a better option than navigating the streets of our nation's capital.
I certainly understand the need for answers to what happened to Mr. Gray. It looks as if the officers have to answer for what happened to him while he was in their custody. But what is the point of burning your own city? I have heard they are angry because there are no good paying jobs. Boy, I bet people are lining up now to start a business in a town where thugs are given permission to loot and set buildings on fire. This reaction to "wanting good paying jobs" has set that hope back at least a decade. As I watched people's properties burn and the police just watch and a mayor that stated "it's only property" all I could do was wonder if there are any winners in this scenario. How many of the local store owners will be able to recover from this? When I owned a business it was tough enough without being concerned that some thug was going to burn it down. That might have changed my decision to buy a restaurant had I felt that my property would not be protected from criminals. Especially ones that do it right in front of the police and on film. Certainly I would at least expect that those we elect to public office would not tie the hands of our men and women in blue to protect themselves! Apparently, we live in much different times.
But maybe those officials are ready to take appropriate action…
How did the city of Baltimore respond if their infinite wisdom? Not as we would hope to expect…
Instead, the mayor walks back her use of the word "thug." I bet police officers are lining up to come work for a leader like that. Over 44 buildings have burned, police officers hospitalized, regular citizens terrorized, and business owners ruined, but what we need to be worried about is how we characterize criminals. “Misguided youth,” she calls them… if I was just being cynical I would tell her that I’d bet not one of them voted for her. In fact, I would venture to guess that not one of those “thugs,” oops, I mean “misguided youth,” even bothered to go to the polls on Election Day. You see, that would be the proper place to express your grievances with how your city is being run. It just seems to me lately that the man or woman being forgotten in our society is the one that works hard and obeys the law.
I can’t say with any certainty what percentage of cops are bad, but I can say that 100% of all the looters, arsonists, and those who vandalize are criminals and should go to jail. The need to condone this kind of behavior needs to stop. We better start speaking out when we hear nonsensical reporters, politicians and so-called leaders make ridiculous statements or these incidents will begin to play out at a city or town near you. The idea that this type of violence is in any way going to make it better for any person living in Baltimore is just plain false. The poor will now have less opportunity, the middle class will shrink, and those with means will set up business in a friendlier atmosphere. The birthplace of our National Anthem will not be the same, and all we can do now is pray for them. I wish I had a more inspiring report. But I don’t. I’m just sick and tired of hearing how horrible this country is when all I see is opportunity… so my real message to those who feel disenfranchised is this… stop setting your own opportunities on fire. It’s the equivalent of drinking poison and waiting for your enemy to die.
Anthony D. Flores loves to spend his summers writing fiction. His strong Christian faith and love for this great country find its way into his fiction. His work is also available on Amazon by Clicking Here.