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Violent Protests in Baltimore

Stego

Registered Member
Rioting attracts a diverse group of people. Some people are truly oppressed and lashing out, some people are just bored and stupid kids who were let out of public school for the day (I still can't believe they did that), and some folks just want a 55" flat-screen! There is a thin veil of humanity across the face of humans. One good gust of wind lifts it all too easily and I agree to be happy to not live in a large city.

However,
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/02/u...port-given-to-baltimore-prosecutors.html?_r=0

- 6 officers were charged,
- Gray was carrying a legal knife, not a switchblade,
- Even if they hurt him by accident while subduing him, they ignored medical help for him.

I remember the night the Ferguson riots started. I live on the other side of the country, just on the skirt of Trenton in NJ. I was on my way back from a community meeting about Complete Street initiatives. I bike, a lot, and so do other folks in poor communities without cars. Complete Streets initiatives is a way to help develop transportation infrastructure--it helps everyone, black/white/etc... Anyway, there I am minding my own business on my dorky, blinking bike trying to go home. I feel a thud against my helmet and at first think it's a branch that fell. Then I hear yelling. Then I feel more things being thrown at me, the resonating pinging of random items bounding off my spokes. The lights grow brighter on my heels and a full water bottle hits me in the side of the head. Two angry, young black kids are now screaming out the window and calling me a "Bitch ass nigga. Get him. Get that bitch ass cracker." You can understand my confusion as I had not seen the news yet. The long story short is they pursued me and tried to run me off the road on a rainy night, trying to clip the back of my tire and run me into trees. They were legitimately trying to mangle me. I hit the brakes and took a side street, they found me and tried to run me over, then another, they found me again, and finally I ran up to the most well-lit porch so I could call the police.

First thing the officer said to me: "Do you have any enemies or people you've had a problem with?" And I just shook my head and said I don't know enough people to have problems with people. He tailed me out of that neighborhood with his lights off just to watch me, as police had been put on alert to watch for copycat outbursts if you remember.

I just couldn't bring myself to understand it. I couldn't find it inside me to understand why. I'd never done a thing wrong to these two guys, never gave them any reason. Local news said there were some small disturbances nearby, and we saw the national news going crazy. I live on the other side of the country and yet a handful of upset kids were inspired to nearly take me out that night because I was white and too close to their homes and they were acting out against literally the nearest people.

I do believe from history that it sucks for most all of us in this country right now, and I think: mass incarceration business, a racially charged "war on drugs," post Jim Crow retribution, and other things have contributed to unequally messing up the black population in this country. But it's so hard to sympathize with protestors when the rioters are personally affecting you.

So here's my question: which is doing more harm in total, the local rioting or the irresponsible news coverage freaking people out? I happen to think the biggest danger--way bigger than burned cars or broken glass--is the hair trigger state of alert and anxiety people are set into by grotesque and panicked 24 hour news coverage jacking up ratings.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
On the news they said city officials in Baltimore had to talk CVS into putting a pharmacy in that neighborhood. I bet CVS won't put another one there. I wouldn't if I were them.

I find it very hard to sympathize with protesters when rioters are burning cars, buildings and looting. They were also doing this to black owned businesses. Of course next we will hear how depressed the neighborhood is. They will blame anyone but the community.

We all probably should be wearing camera's. If you had that night Stego the police would know who was harassing you. There was no call for those guys to be doing that to you just because your white.

Some people are having a fit over calling the rioters thugs. I don't understand that either. If you act like a thug your a thug.
 

Stego

Registered Member
Yeah, the "thug" thing I think can go either way. Some of us say "thug" and mean "thug." Others say "thug" and mean "n word." And truly there is a big difference among peaceful protestors, violent protestors, and rioters. Those are mutually exclusive. I always understand peaceful protest, but man it's hard to outwardly sympathize with all that destruction adjacent to it.

This is an unpopular opinion, but I think there's an opportunity now with that CVS gone.

I think upstanding citizens should apply for a small business / community development grant to build and operate a locally-owned pharmacy and farmer's market in the place of that CVS. I know that's the whitest thing I could have said, lol, but it would rebuild the community better than a minimum wage convenience store. It would keep the money in the community and offer more opportunity. Non-profit partnerships should jump on this. A WalMart or CVS doesn't hold a candle next to internal development.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I'm all for peaceful protesting but the trouble makers make it hard to have one. When the violence starts the peaceful protestors are the last to get media attention.

I don't know if there is an opportunity there or not. I have no idea if that CVS was making money. It would be nice if there was but it takes a lot of money to open up a pharmacy. Would anyone with that kind of money to invest do it there. Taxpayers would have to pay for the whole thing.

I don't know if anyone read the last article at the link I posted. At the bottom it was talking about how Gray and his sister were suffering from severe lead poisoning and that his mother was a heroin addict. He never had a chance, no wonder he had so many arrests and convictions.
 

Stego

Registered Member
True, but I don't even mean federal grants from tax money necessarily. There are tons of organizations statewide that have an interest in reducing poverty, offering economic opportunity, and especially eliminating what are called "food deserts" and medically deficient pockets. My fiancee has been working the past 5 years in just that, the targeting of under-served populations. It's bloody difficult, but it can be done. There is a wider issue here of systemic failures in the way government both local and federal operates (as I agree that it's not solely about race).
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
On the news they said city officials in Baltimore had to talk CVS into putting a pharmacy in that neighborhood
...? That's what impoverished, socially unstable communities need. More pharmacies. And hey, if there's a protest scheduled that is expected to be chalk full of racial tension, make sure to let the kids out of school early to attend. While we're at it, we also need to open a few more gun shops and jewelry stores in the neighborhood.


- Cham
 

Knight_of_Albion

Registered Member
We have something similar happening here. A developing social underclass.
The rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer.
The wealth certainly hasn't shaken down to the bottom. I've not excusing riots and the like, but when people have, or feel they have, nothing to lose ...
It doesn't augur well for future social cohesion that so many, on both sides of the pond, have fallen through the net.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
...? That's what impoverished, socially unstable communities need. More pharmacies. And hey, if there's a protest scheduled that is expected to be chalk full of racial tension, make sure to let the kids out of school early to attend. While we're at it, we also need to open a few more gun shops and jewelry stores in the neighborhood.


- Cham
It does. It brings jobs. It provides medication and other medical necessities for the elderly in that community. The more businesses there are in the area the more opportunities there are.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
Yeah, the "thug" thing I think can go either way. Some of us say "thug" and mean "thug." Others say "thug" and mean "n word." And truly there is a big difference among peaceful protestors, violent protestors, and rioters. Those are mutually exclusive. I always understand peaceful protest, but man it's hard to outwardly sympathize with all that destruction adjacent to it.

This is an unpopular opinion, but I think there's an opportunity now with that CVS gone.

I think upstanding citizens should apply for a small business / community development grant to build and operate a locally-owned pharmacy and farmer's market in the place of that CVS. I know that's the whitest thing I could have said, lol, but it would rebuild the community better than a minimum wage convenience store. It would keep the money in the community and offer more opportunity. Non-profit partnerships should jump on this. A WalMart or CVS doesn't hold a candle next to internal development.
And a locally owned pharmacy would pay more than minimum wages? They may not hold a candle to them because people don't use them to advance themselves. That's not on Wal Mart or CVS, that's on them.
 
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