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Who is to Blame for Baltimore?

April 29, 2015
Plain English Version



What was gained and what was lost in the rioting in Baltimore? If the rioting results in the kind of changes that benefit the community, a person might say it was worth it.

It might have been worth it if it brings housing, jobs, health care and better schools. It might have been worth it if it lowers crime and makes the area a better place in which to live.

If history is any guide, it will take 50 years for any of these things to happen. Maybe.

What was lost? The Sandtown neighborhood was home to new stores, such as the CVS drugstore. It carried food. There are no other food stores nearby. The store was looted and burned. It was next to a residence for seniors. Now, there is no place for seniors to get medicine.

Other places were destroyed, such as a new partially built senior center (there are no other senior centers in the community). They were part of a community that was improving before the rioting.

Most of the rioters were young people. Many were of high school age. There is no good explanation for their behavior. Some say that they felt they had nothing to lose by destroying their neighborhood.

Adult thieves joined them to loot food and liquor stores and steal drugs.

The aftermath is a ravaged community.

The next event is called finger pointing. The mayor, the governor, the politicians and the people with opinions weigh in. They point fingers at each other about how violent the rioting was. They will blame each other for the poor conditions in the community before the rioting.  Many will say the police or roaming gangs were responsible.

So what did cause the riot? The police, the underclass and the leaders represent organizations. Individuals make up these groups. No one makes a cop hit a kid over the head. No one makes a kid throw a rock through a store window. No one makes politicians turn aside from doing anything.

It is much easier to blame the police force, gangs, schools and the “system” than it is to look at the actual people who are at the heart of the problem.They must be the solution.

The challenge in Baltimore is convincing each person that he or she has the power and the responsibility to move mountains.


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