Baltimore riots an obvious sign of a much needed reform, but will it do more harm than good?
What started as a protest of the death Freddie Gray on Saturday erupted into all out riots when tensions escalated into violence between protesters and police. Multiple sources are implying that the violence started on the behalf of the protesters. However, this may not be the case.
One news report claimed that the protesters were provoked into action after being pelted with rocks by the Baltimore PD. Another claimed that there was no peaceful protesting at all.
I’m inclined to believe the former.
It’s clear that we need police reform now, more than ever.
After the incidents with Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now Freddie Gray, It’s obvious, that within a system that is supposed to uphold the law, there are individuals that seem to think that they ARE the law. At the same time, there are officers who are dedicated to making the world a safer place. So, how do we decide which is which, and what do we do to clean the obviously corrupted system?
John F. Kennedy said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
Those words ring very true today.
While watching the convoluted and obviously biased CNN coverage of the riots in Baltimore, my mind immediately went to the Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine, when riots and civil disobediance resulted in the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych and the prosecution of 50 officials who took place in the organized killing of protesters.
So, I started to ask myself if the same thing was going to happen here in the United States.
The answer is -sadly- no.
The difference between what happened in Ukraine and what is happening in Baltimore is organization.
The pioneers of the Euromaidan movement advanced on Ukraine’s parliament attempting to restore their constitution.
They took over government buildings,
They didn’t loot grocery stores.
It’s all too obvious that there are individuals who see this as an opportunity to loot the local 7/11, not as the opportunity to make a change.
Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.”
She is 100% correct.
In my estimation, by looting and destroying local stores and businesses, you’re only hurting your cause.
Many criticized Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her light-handed reaction to the riots, but I for one applaud the fact that she didn’t declare martial law, It shows compassion and understanding.
Even if people aren’t going about it the right way, they still have reasons.
They’re still fed up of racist cops and public officials.
So, our reaction shouldn’t be to resort to violence. As it would only escalate things further.
Most people involved claim to be doing this in honor of Freddie Gray’s memory.
The Gray family and Reverend Jamal H. Bryant -who did Freddie’s eulogy- have called for the violence to stop.
Yet it hasn’t. So, this begs the question: Why are they really doing this?
Is it a product of low wages, and constant race related acts of violence?
Is this the precursor of the revolution that is wanted (and needed) here in the United States?
Or will this end up being the very thing that gives the police the right to shoot on sight?
This isn’t to say that all of the people on the streets partook in needless violence and looting.
There were (and still are) many residents who took to the streets with brooms to clean up the mess that was left over from the riots. (Pictured above) There were protesters who stood between the police and angry rioters, and even a Michael Jackson impersonator that tried to lighten the tension that both parties were feeling. Will major media talk about that? No, probably not, but that’s why independent journalism is so important.
We need to keep these people in our thoughts, and just hope that this isn’t a preview of things to come here in the US.