What really happened in Baltimore? The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that for decades Baltimore has been a combustible mix of poverty, crime, and hopelessness, uncomfortably placed side-by-side against rich history, friendly people, venerable institutions and pockets of old-money affluence. These two Baltimores have mostly gone unreconciled. The tribune points out that Baltimore is not Ferguson and its primary problems are not racial. The mayor, city council president, police chief, top prosecutor, and many other city leaders are black, as is half of Baltimore’s 3,000-person police force. The city has many prominent black churches and a line of black civic leadership extending back to Frederick Douglass.
The Tribune believes the gaping contrasts separating the haves and the have nots in Baltimore are as large as they are anywhere. As for the cops, the boys on the street will tell you, black cops can be hell on them, also. So now all of the pent up anger and bitterness has boiled over into the kind of rioting Baltimore has not seen since the 1968 uprising that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And that is what the mainstream media is focused on. At least this reasoning is better than blaming veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Counter Current News argued Wednesday that the mainstream media has been flooding television sets and computer screens with images of burning and looting in Baltimore. They say that Baltimore journalists have repeatedly documented that these have been the exception, rather than the rule. For the most part, the protests in Baltimore have been peaceful. Whenever and wherever there has been “looting,” the looters have been both black and white. At no point has this become a “race riot” as internet trolls and the mainstream media fear-mongers have tried desperately to make us believe.
Karen DeCamp, a director at the Greater Homewood Community Corporation, a nonprofit advocacy organization, said: “A number of protesters were concerned that Baltimore, nicknamed ‘Charm City’, was being treated unfairly in the media after the trouble on Saturday. Baltimore was not out of control.” DeCamp was a demonstrator outside the funeral home where Freddie Gray was buried. “Baltimore was not burning. A very small number of people made some trouble, and it was completely blown out of proportion.”
People Before Politics Radio Show Hosts AJ Woodson pointed out that
“10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website BreitBart.com’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.”
The way media misrepresents facts needs to stop. Even President Obama, for once, got it right when he acknowledged this media tactic at press conference on Tuesday, saying: “One burning building will be looped on television over and over again and the thousands of demonstrators who did it the right way have been lost in the discussion.” When are we going to stop falling for the media’s lies?
Tuesday, in a peace keeping effort, two protesters sit on the ground in front of riot police minutes before a mandatory, city-wide curfew of 10 p.m. near the CVS pharmacy that was set on fire yesterday during the protests after the funeral of Freddie Gray, on April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Citizens clean up
The morning after Monday night’s riots, Baltimore residents brought brooms and bags to clean up the shattered glass and debris across the city — including at the burned-out CVS, one of the businesses damaged the worst by the protests.
A National Guard soldier poses for a selfie the morning after some unrest broke out following the funeral of Freddie Gray. There are many who appreciate the National Guard and do not see them as the enemy.
People clasp hands and sing “Amazing Grace” in Baltimore in front of a police line on Tuesday. The streets were largely calm in the morning and into the afternoon, but authorities remained on edge about the possibility of another outbreak of looting, vandalism and arson like what had happened previously in some areas.
Keeping the peace
Baltimore citizens take it upon themselves to help keep the peace. They are willing to stand in front of the police and hold those who would destroy their city at bay. This is not an unusual occurrence. The mainstream media just won’t report it.
A man on a bicycle greets Maryland state troopers on Tuesday, the morning after unrest broke out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died while in police custody.
Thousands march peaceably
Demonstrators march to City Hall to protest against the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, in Baltimore on April 25. Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of the 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody. The mainstream media has been flooding television sets and computer screens with images of burning and looting in Baltimore. But Baltimore citizen journalists have repeatedly documented that these have been the exception, rather than the rule.
Locking arms in peace
Locking arms, reminiscent of Dr. King’s marches, demonstrators march to City Hall. Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of the 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Greeting police captain
Ninth-grader Tremaine Holmes shakes hands with Captain Erik Pecha in front of the Baltimore Police Department Western District station during a protest against the death in police custody of Freddie Gray in Baltimore April 23, 2015.
Compassion knows no age
A young boys shows no animosity toward or fear of the police. In fact, he understands that they might be thirsty after long hours on watch. We could learn a lot from his action.