Friday, May 8, 2015

The Fires of Justice

On April 12, 2015 in Baltimore, MD Freddie Gray, a 25 year old African American was arrested for an alleged switchblade and before ever got to be booked he died while in police custody.  What really happened, no one will ever truly know.  However I have seen the video and it is seriously painful to watch.

Freddie Gray will go down in the history books along with Michael Brown, Erik Garner and Trayvon Martin.  But will they ever really find justice?  I would hope that at the very least their family's find peace.

The riots and bedlam that ensued after the death of Freddie reminded me the riots that were seen in the 60's.  And I, for one, have always been in the mind that violence begets violence, that is, until I heard something that made me realize that maybe, just maybe, the only way to make or get effective change is by violence lone?

For days before April 27th the people of Baltimore peacefully protested, however their cause was not brought to the attention of the country until that day, the day of Freddie's funeral when all hell broke loose.  The CVS was burnt to the ground and looted along with a number of police cars and other area businesses and that and only then is when the News outlets rolled into town.

While I do not believe in violence for violence sake and I certainly do not condone the willful hurting of any person, be them civilian or police, I think I understand the reason why this situation deteriorated into what it did.  Later during the week after the national guard was called out and a curfew was put down, I heard a woman on one of our local channels being interviewed by a news outlet.  I do not recall the question the reporter asked the woman but I will never forget the answer, she said to him, "You paid us no attention when we were out here for days peacefully protesting and only came here when the Riots started."  What can I say, she was right, NO ONE CARED until they acted out.

So has this become the way now?  The only way to bring attention to your cause is to act out?  Those words just send a chill up my spine.  We teach our children to not have temper tantrums and yet we tell our adults to peacefully protest something you think is unfair, immoral or bad and then we act as if we don't really care?  If that is the way now, its no wonder that these people acted out the way that they did.  Why would anyone protest peacefully if no one listens?

Tell me, what do you think?  Is it the medias fault for not covering the peaceful and diving into the violence because its more entertaining?  Is this something we can expect from now on whenever someone feels that they have been mistreated?