Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hot L Baltimore

While I admit that most of my knowledge of Baltimore comes from The Wire and Serial, I think we can agree that it is one of the most economically depressed cities in America.  It is overwhelmingly poor and brown.

And angry.

I was getting my haircut and the barbers had Fox on, because of course they did.  The blonde newsreader introduced a Milwaukee police chief  (or more likely the sheriff) who she said had brought "balance" to this issue.

Whoever this guy was (I was fixed at the mirror ahead of me), I'm guessing he was African American (and not Ed Flynn, so probably David Clarke), which would account for the "balance."  What I heard at the end was this officer refer to the looters as "sub-human."

Really?  Not "wrong," not "misguided," not "foolish," not even just plain "criminals."  But that they were "sub-human."

If police officers - and this guy was from Milwaukee not Baltimore - see the communities they police as full of "sub-humans" then that would explain why they treat their populaces that way.  How do you kill a rabid squirrel?  You break its neck with a shovel.  Why not do the same to Freddie Grey?  I mean, he's sub-human, right?

Who cares - aside from PETA - about the "rights" of animals?  Who cares if another stray cat gets put down? It happens all the time in America.

We have a Black and White problem, but we also have a Black and Blue problem that is much deeper.  And John Angelos said it best yesterday:

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.
I should be clear, that the looting and rioting are stupid.  They are counter-productive.

But that assumes that anything productive can come out of this anyway.  What evidence can we produce that would persuade Black America that we give a shit about the dead young men that are continuing to be a product of police aggression?  What evidence can we produce that would persuade young black men that we think they have or even just deserve an economic future?

When we think of "depression" we think of sadness.  But depression in men often manifests as anger.  The young black men of Baltimore and Ferguson and everywhere else are unvalued, undereducated and the jobs they might be able to do are in China and Mexico.  If they exist in the public eye at all they exist as criminals and looters.

Wouldn't you be depressed, too?

UPDATE: I think POTUS nailed it:

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