As of Monday, 04/27/15, let me say this. We had five days of completely orderly demonstrations. Only after that did the interlopers arrive, and only after that did any trouble begin.
Everybody, I think, wants certain things. We want to find out the facts. We want appropriate prosecutions, if warranted. We want …
I’ve just read this article, which indicates interlopers were indeed allowed to address the crowd at the original gathering Saturday 2015-04-25. They said things I do not believe any native Baltimorean would have said. They had to rationalize their presence, and in my judgment, failed.
A positive outcome of the Michael Brown death has been a public examination of the bad recent history of police brutality in Baltimore. With little-or-no prior media attention, the City has paid out vast sums to settle numerous civil suits, some of them involving repeated offenses by the same officers. Even on the question of what injuries Freddie Green may have sustained while in the police van, a recent Sun article indicated that serious such injuries have occurred in the past, and the City has paid out astronomical sums to settle those claims.
We have an African-American police commissioner who is determined to reform the department. We have an African-American mayor who wants the “Police Bill of Rights” significantly altered so as to facilitate bringing errant officers into line. Both are determined to find answers to the questions about Freddie Gray by means in accordance with due process of law.
All of our elected officials, including the conservative, caucasian governor, are on board with the same agenda.
What more can anyone want?
The article was written prior to 04/25/15. Nothing it says substantiates the headline.
Colin Daileda interviewed only one person, Chuck Modiano.
“In Ferguson, and what I’m feeling in Baltimore, is Freddie Gray is them,” Chuck Modiano, who lives outside Washington, D.C., but has protested in Ferguson and now in Baltimore, told Mashable.
Chuck Modiano is not a “Baltimore protester.” He is not one of us. He doesn’t live here. He doesn’t pay taxes here. He doesn’t vote in our elections. His children don’t attend our schools. He has no part in what I’ve already said our mayor and police commissioner are trying to accomplish.
I am reminded of this portion of Deuteronomy 30:
11Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.
Your agenda doesn’t involve traveling hither and yon. It is at hand, here and now, where you are.
As to “Freddie Gray is them,” I still have some thinking to do. For now, my response is that such thinking is a big mistake. A big mistake. What is? So many of our difficulties in life stem from seeking to not deal with what is. What is?
You are not Freddie Gray. You are you.
Deal with it.
From my diary, concerning Saturday night 2015-04-25 and Sunday 2015-04-26:
We came back from supper [Saturday night] to find that WJZ had switched from its normal programming, whatever that is, to “complete coverage” of the “breaking news,” that demonstrators — about 100 of them — had blocked the intersection of Howard and Pratt Streets. So although (1) these were hardly representative of the 1,100 others who demonstrated, and (2) this was hardly the “shut down” of the city that Malik Shabazz had promised, (3) what became a two-hour standoff did highly inconvenience motorists trapped on Pratt Street approaching that intersection from the west. Christine Ileto was on the ground the whole time and said repeatedly that she had never seen any of these people at any previous demonstration. I was surprised and disappointed that a number of young men among us got excited every time it looked like there might be an altercation. I was surprised at who they were. They had no political or moral agenda; they just wanted to see a fight.
I went to bed at 20:15, just as it got completely dark and the loudspeaker from police helicopter told the crowd to disperse or face arrest. Apparently roaming mobs of youths — There can’t have been that many, as there were only 100 demonstrators there to start with. — went different ways, vandalizing and looting as they went. The men just mentioned made a lot of noise when they smashed the glass of the Light St. 7-Eleven.
They got Harbor Mart, I saw this afternoon.
I stopped at the South Street 7-Eleven for smokes. The people there were regaling in stories of the havoc. A couple young men said, “They’re going to hit Mondawmin” tomorrow at 16:00.
It was a long walk [“home” from McDonald’s]. All the streets were blocked off before and behind police headquarters and leading to the intersection of JFX and Fayette. I had to go to Gay & Fallsway to get around.
I got an e-mail query from my brother in Canton, Ohio. I responded:
The mission is near downtown, and we’re all well familiar with the area where the mayhem took place. They got the little Arab store where I normally buy smokes. But I’ve never been in any danger and am not likely to be.
What began Saturday night is sheer hooliganism, with no connection at all to any social or political issue. The little hoodlums evidently will keep it up just until they get tired of it.
Originally posted 2015-05-18.