Sir Thomas More said it best:
“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” ~Sir Thomas More, Utopia
Sir Thomas More wrote this nearly 500 years ago and it’s just as evident today as it was back then. If you strategically place a group of people in low-income areas and for generations provide them with the worst resources, from dilapidated school buildings to grocery stores stocked with expired GMO’d foods, then what else is to be expected that they become a product of their environment … and get a little mad too.
Baltimore is mad. Just take a look at the NYT’s ‘Thousands of Freddie Grays’. What an accurate depiction of what’s going on. Looking past the violence, rioting and looting, the heart of Charm’s City’s situation is anger. They want better. Better foods, better resources, better quality of living. Rioting is NOT the answer but as Dr. Martin Luther King said “A riot is the language of the unheard.” And NO ONE likes being unheard.
What’s happening in Baltimore happens everywhere. The “unheard” always take their message to the streets. It’s what happened in L.A. in the early 90s after the verdict in the Rodney King case. It’s what happened in Iceland in 2008 when the country’s economy collapsed due to fraudulent banks. It’s what happens in Italy every other day and it’s what happened in Paris in 2005. Remember that?! On TV, we saw young African immigrants throwing rocks at police, cars set on fire and debris flying everywhere – all on the streets of Paris. PARIS! Eiffel tower-loving, baguette-eating, Arc-de-Triomphing Paris! But that Paris only exists on one side of the city. I saw firsthand the other side of the city and I saw why the youngins rioted against the authority.
It’s important to note that GOOD police officers do exist. You know they’re out there working hard everyday to implement positive change. I just hope that they, like everyone else who calls themselves human beings, will focus on the socioeconomic reasons behind Baltimore’s anger and not just the rioting itself.
“Why?” is so much more important (and loving) than “What?”
Tea of Choice: Green Tea … the caffeine to keep us alert to the world around us