Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peaceful demonstration or rioting?

The situation in Baltimore has prompted a great deal of emotion. On one side you have those very upset over what they regard as police abuse and therefore taking their feelings to the street.  On the other side you have those condemning the violence that occurred Monday night.

Aggravating both sides are remarks and/or actions of well-known people who represent one or the other extreme.

Take for example an interview I heard on the Today show Tuesday morning.  Savannah Guthrie was interviewing a prominent religious leader.  She kept trying to get the man to say that the violence was unacceptable because there are better ways to deal with the problem.  He wouldn't do it.  He basically condoned what the rioters were doing.  Al Sharpton was basically on board with this.

Therein lies at least part of the problem.  There is a very important difference in my mind between peaceful protest and random violence and rioting.  Community leaders who do or will not recognize this are hurting their communities a great deal.

On an encouraging note, there were a number of residents who decried the rioters and  stood along side the police.  One mother, now famous, even chased her son away from the scene. 

Let's hope there is more of this but let's go further.  Let's take seriously the core concerns of people who see themselves as victims of police aggression.

Thus endeth my rant for the day.

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