Capital Region baseball fans watched with the rest of the country in shock and even annoyance at the spectacle of a Major League game played before no fans. But is annoyance justified? The Baltimore Orioles’ home stadium sits in the heart of city wracked by violence.
The team’s president, John Angelos, son of team owner Peter Angelos, took a surprising and unusually deeply considered position on the unrest over the death of Freddie Gray. Angelos’ views begs consideration. (As quoted in USA Today.)
Mr. Angelos seized the opportunity to respond with a qualified and considered defense of those protesting: “The principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept.
“Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.”
Then, stunningly, Mr. Angelos offered a larger view of what he considers the factors behind the unrest:
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.
Mr. Angelo’s continued on the state of jobs, economic and civil rights over the past decades. “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.”
Mr. Angelo’s views challenge conventional wisdom. Many will disagree, but he brings to the fore issues that must be debated and addressed.
Dave Balog teaches financial essentials to families. email@example.com, 952-1257