I’ll apologize in advance if this seems scattered and disjointed, but the situation I’m writing about is scattered, and disjointed, so maybe that is appropriate.
Let me start by telling you that I live near Baltimore. Since Freddie Gray died after he was arrested in April, our local TV stations have steeped our market in coverage of this case. I am far from being intimately connected with the facts, but watched as thousands protested peacefully in the immediate aftermath of Gray’s passing. It was only the day of the funeral–a day when Gray’s family specifically asked for no protests or unrest–when violence and strife really erupted. I need not dwell upon the reasons or catalyst for the violence, except to say there is more than enough blame to go around.
It’s become fairly clear that what began as a proposed march by high school students, escalated rapidly beyond that, and when many so-called adults showed up, (many from outlying towns), the real trouble began. Rocks were thrown, Police officers were injured, property damaged, looted and robbed, and buildings burned. None of that was, or is acceptable. To use the death of a young man as an excuse to riot in the streets is not only wrong-headed, but downright despicable.
With Friday’s announcement of numerous criminal charges, things erupted all over again. But this time on Cable News and social media. Knee-jerk opinions abounded, and half-assed theories were, and are plentiful. There were numerous instances of people with ‘inside information’ they supposedly had obtained from, “someone they knew”, that Gray had either been in a car crash, or jumped from a third floor window, and injured himself. None of which seems to be the case according to documents and reports released on Friday. Friends turned on each other and vile names were rampant. I even found examples of siblings turning on each other because they had differing opinions about the Gray case.
Facebook, and Twitter will not solve this case or shed any new light on it. Attacking the media, or the police will not solve the nationwide problems we all seem to be facing. It’s not as simple as Black versus White. Not as simple as finding all the bad cops. In fact I happen to think most Police are fine people, and have only the best of intentions. The problems are not, nor will they ever be simple to solve. But until civility and respect rules on ALL sides of these issues, there may never be a solution. Stop talking at each other and listen to each other. Creating a dialogue…a respectful dialogue…must be our number one goal. When all people do is shout each other down, and tear down opposing opinions, nothing will get accomplished.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this situation troubles me on an intense level. The scope of violence in the country eats away at my souls and it should. If it didn’t, I think I would be ashamed of myself.
I’m publishing this on my blog, and to Facebook. I am respectfully asking no one to comment on this post. Feel free to ignore it or like it. I invite anyone who would like, to send a private message. I’m seriously weary of airing this whole thing in public forums.