Baltimore Orioles Executive Offers Amazing Insight into Freddie Gray Protests
The mainstream news organizations are spending a lot of time covering the riots that have erupted in Baltimore, MD in wake of the death of Freddie Gray. As you may recall, Freddie Gray was the 25 year-old Baltimore resident who suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody. Gray would die 7 days later as a result of this injury. Video of the police arresting Gray surfaced online and has set off a series of protests which have turned violent in the past few days.
Personally, I wish our conversations were less about the violence and more about the conditions that led up to a group of people feeling their only option is to riot. By no means do I condone what is happening in Baltimore right-now as the long-term effects of this will likely cripple that community. But clearly, people are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
The Baltimore Orioles were slated to begin a three-game Major League Baseball series with the Chicago White Sox yesterday. Yesterday’s game was canceled in wake of the protests and safety concerns. The Orioles COO, John Angelos, who is also the son of the team’s owner Peter Angelos, wrote a brilliant response to those complaining about the cancellation of the games.
I agree with [the] point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
Let us continue to pray for the city of Baltimore as we better understand what has caused this situation and determine solutions.