It bears repeating: the "protesters" in Baltimore aren't fighting injustice -- they are the injustice.
They are violence and destruction. There is no message. There is no voice to be heard. There is no consideration we should give these people. Their actions deserve only condemnation, and that's all.
A Baltimore council member appeared on Fox News last night and lightly chastised the rioters for "speaking out in a very wrong way." But, no, they're not. They're not speaking out in a wrong way. They're not speaking out at all. These people are communicating nothing but chaos and greed. That's what happens when you destroy your own community to make a point. Immediately and completely, your point is moot. Nobody cares what you have to say, nor should they. You are now the problem.
[sharequote align="center"]You lose the right to be taken seriously the moment you start demolishing stores and chucking rocks.[/sharequote]
You lose the right to be taken seriously the moment you start demolishing drug stores and chucking rocks. I think that's a reasonable rule, isn't it? I don't have to listen to you if your method of communication involves burning a city to the ground. That's fair, right?
Let's make another thing clear: apologists will argue that only a small group of "agitators" are responsible for the riots while everyone else was peaceful, but that's bull crap.
There were no peaceful protestors in Baltimore last night. You don't end up with 144 vehicles on fire, 15 buildings torched, and 200 arrests from just a small group of agitators. This was an entire inner city erupting in violence. This was dozens of square miles plagued by riots and looting.
This is a war zone, and there have already been 15 officer seriously maimed in the melee.
There were no peaceful protests. This was a citywide riot. Period.
To be honest, I'm taking this one personally because I've lived in the Baltimore area for most of my life. I know the town very well. Those places you see on the news are familiar to me, except this is the first time I've had the chance to see them all in flames.
My family lives there. My parents aren't far from where this violence is beginning to spill into.
I'm in Utah as I write this, but my wife and kids are still in Maryland, and she and my parents and my sister were planning a trip to the Baltimore Zoo yesterday. Fortunately, they decided to cancel. If they hadn't, they would have been a half a mile from where swarms of black teens were tearing the Mondawmin Mall to shreds.
But then, the zoo hasn't been the safest destination for a while now.
People who've lived around Baltimore know that it's all been slowly consumed and destroyed by inner city elements, and now perhaps that process will be completed in dramatic fashion.
When I was a kid, I used to hang out at the Owings Mills Mall, just four miles from my house and not far from downtown. But then you started hearing about the shootings in the parking lot, and the gangs, and then one night my parents walked right into a drug bust outside the food court, and that was it. Another thing taken from us.
It's politically incorrect but it's true: they built a subway stop next to the mall, allowing people from the city to come, and next thing you know the mall is a dangerous, crime-infested ghost town. This is how it always worked. I've seen it play out around here dozens of times.
I'm angry about that. I'm allowed to be angry about that.
Maybe this is my way of venting. I think I should be allowed to vent with the written word if these thugs can vent by attacking police officers, lighting senior centers on fire, and looting liquor stores -- and still have the media rush to their defense to insist that we should appreciate their anger.
They're looting for a purpose, we're told. It's a movement.
This is not a movement, it's just crime. Cops are in hospital beds today. Businesses are destroyed. Homes are in ashes. This town -- my town, our town -- is reeling because of what these vicious sociopaths have done, and are continuing to do. The place that gave birth to the National Anthem has been turned into a national disgrace.
[sharequote align="center"]The place that gave birth to the National Anthem has been turned into a national disgrace.[/sharequote]
So, you know what? Screw their anger. Their anger is irrelevant. Their plight, their experience, their background, none of it justifies anything we've witnessed. None of it entitles them to act like animals. None of it provides "context" when you ignite buildings then cut the hose as firefighters try to put it out.
Anger. Hey, we're all angry. Life is difficult and it makes you angry sometimes. Most of us can deal with it in ways that don't involve firebombing cop cars. Why can't they? And the rest of us have an extra reason to be angry this morning, after we watched a community turn this country into Beirut.
Yeah, I'm angry about that. And I'm angry that many parts of Baltimore have been a crime ridden cesspool for decades. I'm angry that Baltimore has had one of the highest murder rates in the nation for years, and not due to cops shooting black people, but due to black people shooting black people.
I'm angry that even before these riots, I had to be nervous about bringing my family to the Inner Harbor because of the roving bands of black teens who'd decided to start assaulting and robbing white visitors.
I'm angry that this is the town where a group of black people attacked, robbed, and stripped a white guy naked in the middle of the street for no reason at all, and were never charged with a hate crime.
Demonstrators climb on a destroyed Baltimore Police car in the street near the corner of Pennsylvania and North avenues during violent protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
I'm angry because there are clearly deeply ingrained problems in the inner city black community, but we never talk about them. No matter what happens, they can raze the whole city to rubble, and still we meekly stand to the sidelines and lecture about oppression and racism.
They're not oppressed. I mean, good Lord, they were essentially allowed to loot and riot at will last night. I think an oppressive system would have dealt a bit more harshly with them. Indeed, the system should have been more oppressive against this chaos. Rubber bullets, tear gas, fire hose, whatever it takes. Bring out the bus and start arresting people by the dozens.
Yeah, I'm angry.
And I'm especially angry at the narrative.
We're constantly informed that black people are under attack, yet every symbolic case they choose involves the death of a black person who happened to also be a known criminal.
We still don't know the circumstances surrounding Freddie Gray's death (but obviously we should assume, because our assumptions have always been proven correct in the past). We only know that he was arrested and while in custody he was fatally injured.
It certainly seems possible, even likely, that something illegal happened on the part of one or two or several officers. If that is the case, the perpetrators should be brought to justice.
But either way, the fact remains that Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray were not law abiding, helpful, constructive members of society. That doesn't mean they deserved to die, but it does mean they put themselves in a category of people who are more likely to be involved in violent interactions with cops. And that category isn't "black people" -- it's "criminals."
Freddie Gray was a known drug dealer with 18 arrests on his record, yet people have the nerve to complain that we was profiled. Of course he was profiled. He was a thug. A perpetual problem. Is it unreasonable that police officers, somewhere around maybe the 12th or 13th time they arrest you in the span of a couple of years, might start to be suspicious?
The point is, you can't convince the world that cops are out to exterminate black citizens when your most prominent case studies are men like Brown, Garner and Gray. If they prove anything, it's that cops tend to get rough with guys who demonstrate a disregard for the law.
Does that justify it? No, but it does take the racial component out of it. Especially considering white people are killed by cops, too -- maybe even more often -- and, logic would tell us, most of them were involved in criminal activity as well.
I often hear it said that cops are "terrorizing" black people. But if law enforcement can be considered terrorism, what do you say about the people selling poison to kids and shooting each other over who gets to stand on which corner? Are they suddenly the protagonists in this twisted fairy tale?
Image via Shutterstock
No, the dealers and thugs and gangsters are the terrorists, and they're the ones the police have to handle every day, all day, all week, all year, for as long as they stay on the job.
If we're supposed to appreciate the context which leads a person to smash open a storefront and steal bags of Fritos from the snack aisle, can't we at least appreciate the context which leads cops to sometimes have a less than pleasant demeanor around predators, deadbeats, and social parasites?
That doesn't mean they all -- white or black - should be shot (although some of them, like Brown, certainly brought it upon themselves), it just means that crooks have a lifestyle that exposes them to this danger more so than the rest of us.
Watching the footage of the Baltimore riots, we see one "protestor" after another complaining that "cops are out here killing black men." But they completely leave out the first portion of that sentence, which is the part about how black men are out here committing violent crimes.
How can anyone think that the two facts are mutually exclusive and unrelated, as if cops are randomly strolling up to black patrons waiting in line at Starbucks and executing them for the hell of it?
No, black men in the city often lead lives full of crime and violence, and often it ends at the point of a gun. Usually it's another black criminal holding the gun, but in a small minority of cases, it's a cop. And in a small minority of that minority, the cop is killing unjustly.
When that happens, the cop should answer for it. But you don't get to take those instances and use them to paint all cops as villains and all black men as innocent victims. It's absurd, and these riots illustrate the absurdity in stark detail.
One interview I saw last night was with a guy complaining that the cops had shot him and his group with beanbags. He showed off his battle scars and acted quite flabbergasted by the whole thing. Finally the reporter asked him what they were doing when the bags were fired at them, and the man quickly and matter-of-factly admitted that they were throwing bottles.
So, um, maybe that's why you have those bruises? Possibly? You think?
Cops can't win, can they? Apparently, according to some folks, you should be able to hurl glass objects at their faces without fear of "police brutality." Cops should not only be peaceful under all circumstances, but should be like uniformed Bhuddas patrolling our cities and never reacting violently to anything, under any circumstance, because racism or something
Speaking of racism, the Baltimore Police Department is almost 50 percent black. It's run by a black commissioner and a black deputy commissioner, and they all answer to a black mayor. If there is "institutional racism" in the BPD, where's it coming from?
If anything, this all debunks that talk about how the Ferguson Police Department needed more minority representation. The Baltimore PD is a black department run by black people, and what difference did it make? Still, they riot and complain about "racist cops."
Racism is a human sin and institutions are human constructions. For an institution to be racist, the people who run it would have to be racist. Otherwise, you're suggesting that the very act of policing is inherently unfair to blacks, which therefore suggest -- what? -- that black people are naturally incapable of following the law?
Talk about a racist point of view.
And that's what I can't stand about the constant apologizing and rationalizing that people do on behalf of these rioters. It infantilizes the black community. It sends the message that society shouldn't expect more from them; that somehow we can't hold black people responsible for annihilating their own neighborhoods the way we would with white people.
If I were a black person, I would be infuriated by pretentious white liberals constantly explaining why black people should be given a free pass when they loot and destroy. They're the real racists.
As far as institutions and systems go, if you want to blame them for anything, blame them for being cowardly, negligent, and incompetent. The system is not governed by racists; it's governed by impotent fools who care only about the optics and the politics of the thing, even when lives are at stake. That's the true evil of the system.
In Baltimore, the mayor actually got in front of cameras and announced a plan to give the looters "space to destroy." This is a woman elected to lead a major American city, and this is what she calls leadership.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's performance is another defeat for affirmative action "diversity" advocates. By their logic, a black woman should be best equipped to handle these race riots, but instead she's proven historically inept. Martin O'Malley used to be mayor, and he was terrible, but her crisis management skills make him look like Winston Churchill by comparison.
The police stood by for hours and watched swarms of people commit serious felonies, not because they didn't want to act, but because the bureaucrats and politicians in charge presumably told them to stand down. They didn't want the news cameras to catch law enforcement officers in the act of enforcing the law. That would just be unseemly.
Time to get with the times. The system isn't designed to keep the black man down anymore, it's just designed to keep hapless idiots in power by insulating them from blame when they make minor mistakes like explicitly allowing their city to be pillaged and demolished.
Police in riot gear charge as they try to push protesters away during a march in honor of Freddie Gray on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
But maybe we shouldn't be talking about the system at all, as flawed as it may be. Maybe we should be talking about the individual.
This whole thing is, after all, a sad metaphor. A microcosm, you might say. Watching Baltimore be eaten alive by thugs, I realize that we're only witnessing the condensed version of what's been happening in this city, and many other cities, for a longtime.
These are individuals making violent and terrible choices. Emphasis on choices. And they're making these choices largely because they're mad about the state of their communities -- but it's their choices that turned their communities into hellholes in the first place.
When they protest, they protest themselves.
Here's the answer, then. The black community in Baltimore, and in every other city, can stop "protesting" some external boogeyman, and start taking charge of itself.
You want to lash out against what's happening in your neighborhood? Good. You should.
So get a job. Get an education. Get married before you have kids, and then stay and raise them. Move forward. Work for something better. Work.
Worried about the government and policies and law enforcement and all of that? Fine, after you've completed, or started on the path towards completing, the first steps, the next is to get involved.
How many of these "protestors" have actually been to a city council meeting? How many stay abreast of the issues and vote for better leadership on Election Day? How many do you think? What percentage?
One percent? Less?
Well, there you go. Job, education, family, community involvement.
Notice, setting a CVS ablaze didn't appear on my list.
If you want a better community, you'd do these things. If you don't, you'll keep rioting.
Either way, it's your choice.
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