Yesterday, Baltimore epitomized a divided America. On Monday, we saw a tale of two cities evoking the worst and the best of times.
Baltimore was in “total chaos, total anarchy,” experiencing “madness,” “mayhem” and “pandemonium” while “citizens [were] under siege.” “Baltimore is now a war zone.”
Yet, everyday citizens within their besieged communities risked danger to combat the unfolding evil. Some members of the community acted as human shields to protect the police from the mob, while many marched in unity to qualm fears and elicit peace. One mother publicly berated her son who had joined the rioters.
Baltimore Is Not Ferguson
Many politicians and pundits have conflated the tragic death of Freddie Gray while in police custody with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, using the false narrative of endemic white racism as a starting point for discussion. The racial grievance industry has a vested interest in perpetuating racial hoaxes for fun and profit.
Baltimore is not Ferguson. John Schindler tweeted: “Baltimore has a black mayor, a black police chief & almost half the cops are black. This ain’t Ferguson, folks.”
As we await the conclusions of the various investigations into Gray’s death, let us remember that every investigation into Brown’s death absolved the police.
We don’t know, yet, exactly how Gray died, but we should know soon. When we do know, we can take appropriate action.
Another difference: the Brown family called for Ferguson to be burned, while the Gray family petitions for peace.
Baltimore Is Ferguson
In some ways, though, Baltimore is like Ferguson. Like so many great American cities, decades of Democrat rule have taken their toll upon a people governed by various liberal policies. (Take Detroit, for example.)
The racial grievance industry continually promotes its propaganda which, most often, finds fertile ground in the inner cities. As a direct consequence of their false racial narratives, many turn to violence, as we saw in riots stretching from Ferguson to, now, Baltimore.
Apparently the residents of Baltimore have a long history of tension with the police. But, more crucially, there is a generational, not just racial, divide in that city. Teenagers, raised in the petri dish of the welfare state and multiculturalism, have been indoctrinated into believing that America owes them for slavery, which has been abolished for more than one-and-half centuries. Taught that they are victims, they feel entitled to redress. For them, the welfare state is just the beginning.
Baltimore, like so many urban communities, is beset by competing worldviews, ambitions, and goals. Some are firmly fixed in that distant past of racial grievances and the so-called legacy of slavery. They have adopted a victim mentality and inculcated a sense of entitlement. A feeling that America owes them.
Democrat-controlled cities, failed liberal polices, dysfunctional families and subculture – these are the root causes of the violence we have seen erupt in cities across America. As a direct result of these policies, the black nuclear family has been decimated and black criminality is entrenched in many communities.
In contrast, others are rooted in a more traditional past, filled with faith and values, optimistic for the future, embracing freedom and personal responsibility. For them, doing the right thing is always the right thing to do, even when it hurts. They value the goodness and greatness of America.
Then there are the anarchists and professional activists who simply seek to destroy or to profit from that destruction.
Baltimore – despite ample warning – was unprepared for the riots. Charles Krauthammer called it “a total failure of leadership” at the local and state levels.
The Mayor of Baltimore followed the leadership style of President Obama and treated the rioters as if they had a right to riot. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake acquiesced to rioters when she said, “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. We worked very hard to keep that balance.”
She wanted to balance free speech rights and anarchy?
As Ian Tuttle at National Review observes, “The reaction of the head of the government of Baltimore to the subversion of that government by wanton lawbreaking was to say that citizens were free to violently subvert that government – just as long as they did it in approved areas.”
It was, as one commentator observed, a “complete capitulation” to the rioters and anarchists.
Later, Mayor Rawlings-Blake spoke the obvious: “It’s idiotic to think that by destroying your city, you’re going to make life better for anybody.” But “making life better” isn’t the purpose of riots. Anarchy and destruction are its own rewards.
A “Protestor” by Any Other Name
But how can you solve the problem when you can’t even identify it? It was jarring to hear rioters referred to as “protestors,” even on Fox News.
CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill actually regards these violent thugs as “resisters.” His rationale, which blamed the police and not the rioters, is as follows:
“We also, I think, have to be very careful about the language that we use to talk about this. I’m not calling these people rioters. I’m calling these uprisings, and I think it’s an important distinction to make. This is not a riot, there have been uprisings in major cities and smaller cities around this country for the last year because of the state violence that’s been waged against black female and male bodies forever.”
“… we do have to understand that resistance looks different ways to different people. And part of what it means to say ‘black lives matter,’ is to assert our right to have rage, and righteous rage, and righteous indignation in the face of state violence and extrajudicial killing. Freddie Gray is dead. That’s why the city is burning, and let’s make that clear, the city is not burning because of protesters. The city is burning because the police killed Freddie Gray.”
The old Leftist argument that one person’s terrorist is another person’s patriot continues to fly in the face of reality and moral truth. Although the Sixties’ counterculturalists and their ideological progeny deny the existence of absolute truth and moral absolutes, their denial fails to change the reality in which we all live.
No Justice! No Peace!
Pastor Jamal Bryant concluded his eulogy for Freddie Gray by leading the congregation is a chant: “No justice! No peace!”
And that violence has been racially tinged. CNN correspondent Miguel Marquez described the mob as “Very, very angry to see anybody driving in a rental car who was not African-American” and said that they were “very, very threatening to us.”
Marquez also observed the generational aspect of the mob: “It was a frightening scene. Young people, male and female, holding rocks, bricks, bottles, sticks.” Most rioters were local youth, not outside agitators
Taking Back the City
The words and actions of people on the ground, politicians, pundits, the clergy, and ordinary citizens inspire hope and confidence.
Largely ignored by the mainstream media, “Over 100 clergy marched through the streets of Baltimore last night in an effort to end the violence, and they did it without riot shields and military vehicles.”
Clergy, community leaders, and neighbors sought to bring peace back to the community. A group of mature men marched through the desolated city landscape singing the gospel song, I Will Trust in the Lord, which contains the lyrics, “I’m Gonna Treat Everybody Right.”
Prospective GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, a former Baltimore resident, urged, “parents, grandparents and guardians to please take control of your children and do not allow them to be exposed to the dangers of uncontrolled agitators on the streets.”
One commentator urged, “Adults need to step up and be adults.”
Let’s be adults. Let’s “purge” immaturity from our lives and our communities.
 This ultimately leads to Obama’s ludicrous proposition that poverty, not religious fanaticism, is the real reason jihadists behead infidels. See “Root of Evil: Let’s Put ISIS on Welfare” at http://wp.me/p4scHf-7s.