I watched Baltimore burn on TV the other night. I watched looting and arsons, cars being stolen and driven through the streets and set on fire while the perpetrators high fived and chest bumped enjoying their destruction of someone else's property. I also watched the police stand and watch and do absolutely nothing. I watched incoherent people giving interviews with absolutely no idea what they were "protesting" other than someone said the police killed somebody named Freddie Gray. I watched as left wing extremists once again jumped to conclusions before the investigation into the death of Mr. Gray had been completed, calling for arrests of police officers and Gran Jury convenings with absolutely no reports from autopsy or toxicology even being available. This doesn't surprise me as we have seen this play out over and over with no apologies to the police when the original story does not match the evidence. What makes Baltimore different is that the criticism by the opportunists are not aimed directly at the Baltimore Police Department as it was in say, Ferguson. Baltimore is a "minority, majority" city and has been operated as such for the past 30 years. Unlike Ferguson where the demographics were predominately white or New York where the Mayor criticized his own department, the politicians and city officials in Baltimore are on the same "team".
So how did things get so out of hand in Baltimore? I give you the Mayor as exhibit number one.
"I've made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything they could to make sure the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It's a very delicate balancing act because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well, and we work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate".
- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Really? Of course she now denies she said this but I'll take the recorded statement as the truth. The problem here is the philosophy not the demographics. The police are now admitting they were told to stand down and apparently the police commissioner didn't have the guts to oppose the Mayor making them both complicit in endangering their police officers and citizens. I am sure that the Mayor does not frequent the businesses that she allowed to be destroyed unless she is stumping for a vote so her appearance of a lack of "heartfelt" feelings toward the victims of the looting and burning is explainable. She is caught between a rock and a hard place in that she cannot blame the police in this matter nor the local politicians because they are all a part of the same political "team" yet she has to defend her constituency even if it is the ones causing all of the damages because that's what the playbook says. She allowed and encouraged the arson, vandalism and looting by ordering her officers to stand down forcing them to watch criminal activity being performed and by giving the hoodlums a full 24 hour notice that a curfew would begin the next evening . She has taken zero responsibility, probably will not and has turned this incident into a cluster. At some point I expect her to throw the police under the bus to remove herself as a target. When all else fails, it's the police's fault.
How about our President? While he referred to the individuals that were burning and stealing as "thugs" and criminals, he still just couldn't let it stop at that choosing to take yet another shot at the police. He compared these criminals to corruption in business, politics and Wall Street adding that the "Police have their share too". Mr. President, I haven't seen a large group of brokers burning down the New York Stock Exchange. I've never seen politicians steal cars, drive them into washing machines then setting them on fire in the middle of the streets. I certainly have never seen a large group of police officers stealing beer and liquor from businesses in the name of retaliation for brutality. Yet, the political philosophy dictates deflection of responsibility and the continued excuse making for bad behavior; it's all about the votes. Keep these folks dependant on the government so we can keep convincing them they need assistance to survive. Vote for us because this is all the police's fault.
One of the male protesters last night compared the events in Baltimore as being "another Michael Brown". Obviously it was an uninformed statement but this is much different. One of the biggest differences is the inconspicuousness thus far of one Al Sharpton. He doesn't plan to immediately go to Baltimore as he did Ferguson, but rather organize a march on Washington to protest police brutality. No speeches in this neighborhood, no sir. Why is he not attacking the local politicians and officials in Baltimore as he did in Ferguson; because the "team" runs Baltimore and has for 30 years. He can't criticize his own team. Can you see Reverend Sharpton criticizing a fellow extreme left wing politician with the same anti-policing stance he has? Of course not. He won't even address it. Are those minority business owners whose businesses were burned and looted waiting on the good Reverend to come to their rescue as he did for the citizens of Ferguson? Are they waiting on him to criticize the police department for standing down and allowing their establishments to be burned and looted? I sure hope not because it's not going to happen. There is nothing for Al to gain and he is not going to stray from the playbook. So let's march to Washington and put pressure on the new Attorney General giving her an excuse to start another investigation before all of the facts are in. That way he can get out of Baltimore without facing the citizens there, criticize the police in general from a distance allowing him to not call out Baltimore Police Commissioner (he's on the team too) and completely get the Mayor off the hook. I haven't heard Al call for the local District Attorney to remove himself from this case as he did in Ferguson. So with all Al Sharpton is not doing in Baltimore, why should any of those residents march with him? The only citizens of Baltimore that have gained anything out of this incident are the criminals that were given the go ahead from the Mayor to help themselves to property that was not theirs. Will the criminals march with Al?
There are far more examples of African American accomplishment in this country than there are failures. The police are not holding anyone back nor are they persecuting any one group of people on a regular basis. It's the politicians and agitators that use urban city blight as a means to profit and promote themselves, never offering solutions and advancing the blame game against the police. They are as much to blame for government dependant communities and the enabling of bad behavior than any police officer in the country. Stop encouraging the types of behavior that have dominated the broadcast airwaves the past several days by making excuses for it. When the entire country watches this type of behavior that the TV stations are all too willing to broadcast it only enhances misperceptions that the vast majority of the African American community does not represent. Public leaders need to condemn vigorously the looting and destruction and actively seek consequences for those who participated, not seek excuses to defend or explain the acts of gang members and thieves. Put your fear of losing votes away and do the right thing for once or Baltimore will continue to burn long after the fires have been extinguished.