Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Fire in Baltimore


There is a fire burning out of control in Baltimore. But it is not one that can seen by the eye or touched by the hand. It resides deep within, in the souls of those faced everyday with a world that has turned away.

President Obama warns about us responding only when the external flames are the highest and most visible. And history teaches us there is little reason to believe otherwise. For in the aftermath of each  high profile death, with each protest march, with each anguished cry, comes little. When night has passed to day and only the embers of despair are evident, we act as though nothing has happened.

Why will Freddie Gray be  different? Why will Baltimore mark a turning point? There is scarce hope that, even a stone's throw from the capital of our nation, we will awaken tomorrow to a new and better reality. Until we treat each life as if it were our own, until we open our eyes and reach out our hands to see and touch the soul of the beleaguered the fire will continue to burn.


Anonymous said...

No sane, civil, or decent person would take issue with what you say. But let us look at the particulars. The Justice Dept. Ferguson report noted a huge lack of diversity in the city's leadership and police dept. Broad diversity is not an issue in Baltimore where the mayor, police commissioner, a majority of the city council and police dept. are black. If Ferguson protesters were responding to a majority-black town being oppressively run by a white minority, what explains Baltimore?

The violent crime rate in Baltimore is more than triple the national average, and the murder rate is more than 6 times higher and accelerating. As of April, city murders are 20% ahead of the number killed last year. Mayor Blake said: "I'm a lifelong resident of Baltimore, and too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for." City Council Pres. Jack Young expressed similar thoughts. Sadly, the mayor lost a 20 year old cousin to gun violence two years ago and earlier this month Mr. Young's 37 year old nephew died from a gunshot wound to his head. When even the families of black elites in a city run by black elites can't escape this pathology, might the bigger problem be racial disparities in antisocial behavior, not the composition of law-enforcement agencies?

Robert said...

I seem to have caught the attention of Mr.or Ms. Anonymous who has challenged a number of my recent posts.

And yes, the problem is far greater than the make up of the police force, although that cannot be ignored. The core of the problem is that there are pockets of our society that live everyday in desperation, filled not with the dreams and aspirations that you and I have, but with the sense that their lives are of no consequence and their futures are without light. You and I can suggest that they do something to better their position, but the sad truth is that it is for far too many a virtual impossibility. It is this absence that perpetuates the problem, and until we seriously attack the heart of the matter, until we stop believing that the issue is self created in these communities, until we stop pointing a finger at them and start pointing one at ourselves, we will have doomed all the Baltimores in our nation to continued conflagrations

Anonymous said...

Yesterday the media presented a wonderful example of a mother (now nominated for mother of the year) attacking the heart of the matter.