A Quick Blog About Baltimore
Folks, since the death of Freddie Gray, who sustained grave spinal injuries while in police custody and later died of them, Baltimore has been a place of massive unrest.
There have been riots. There have been burnings. There have been lootings. There now is a nightly curfew between 10 PM and 5 AM. And the National Guard has been called out by the Governor of Maryland, because Baltimore appears to be consuming itself from within.
As I spent five months in Baltimore back in 2005, I have been able to picture nearly all of the places described by the media before they were burned and/or looted. I have friends in that area, and I worry about them; I also follow several players on the Baltimore Orioles, including J.J. Hardy (an ex-Brewer shortstop).
Well, today is an interesting day in Baltimore, to be sure. Because despite all the chaos, baseball will be played today — albeit in an empty stadium, as spectators have been told by the team to stay home.
Better yet, the Baltimore Symphony is right now engaged in playing a free concert outdoors. The hope there is that music can unite what was once divided, and maybe somehow bring a bit of peace — maybe even some sanity? — to all concerned.
I’m glad to see that the orchestra is doing what it can to help calm everything down. And I am glad that the Orioles are finally playing today, as the last two days, games were cancelled.
Still, I remain worried about the unrest in Baltimore.
I don’t know what all of the answers are. I do know that I hope that Mr. Gray’s death will bring about better police procedures (he should’ve been properly secured in the police van, at minimum, so the spinal injuries Gray later died from wouldn’t have happened). And I hope the city can come together and heal itself…
But one thing’s for certain. Burning businesses to the ground does not promote job growth. It doesn’t make people feel good about wanting to visit Baltimore as a tourist attraction, either.
And those two things will hurt Baltimore more in the long run than anything else.
I hope that somehow, some way, the angry people in Baltimore will heed the words of Freddie Gray’s sister, who has pleaded for peace.
And maybe, just maybe, they’ll listen to the music of the Baltimore Symphony. Because music truly can heal, if people will only hear it.