|Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP via abcnews|
First things first.
Yes, there is a lot to be argued, debated, addressed. And this moment, as inevitable as it has sometimes seemed, can still, in the end, prove transformational, if not redemptive for our city. Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard. All of that is true and all of that is still possible, despite what is now loose in the streets.
But now — in this moment — the anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease. There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.
If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore. Turn around. Go home. Please.Peaceful protests help the majority of the public see your side of the story. Violent protests give the guys who want to crack down the excuse they need to do so. It gives those who are inclined to say you need militarized policing the evidence they were seeking.
Things need to change and the public shouldn't have to wait, shouldn't have to wait any longer than they already have. I'm in no position to tell anyone not to be angry.
Accountability. All around. If you let your anger get the best of you, expect to be accountable. We need to work on holding the people who start the violence accountable.