Baltimore Town is Burning Down, Good-Bye, Good-Bye

I’ve never understood the purpose of a riot. Perhaps I missed that lesson in high school, but from where I’m sitting, they make no sense whatsoever. Rioting appears quite a bit like a group of 3-year-olds throwing a temper tantrum.

“John Doe was shot. Let’s go rob the pharmacy.” “I didn’t get a lollipop. I’m going to throw a fit.” Yep, they sound just about the same to me.

Why is it that when some piece of perceived injustice is done, members of the public (who probably know nothing about the situation other than what has been reported in media outlets) declare themselves the judge, jury, and executioner? It’s just that, since they actually are none of those, they decide to riot, loot stores, and vandalize a neighborhood instead.

At the end of the day, these people can return to their respective homes and say, “Hi honey, I’m home. I couldn’t stop and pick up the items you asked me to get at the grocery store because other guys got there and looted all the shelves before I did. And we can’t go to Joe’s Diner to eat either since we torched it.”

I really thought that humankind was smarter than this, but alas, it is not so. But it doesn’t even end there.

Over the weekend, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stated:

I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police, and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters could exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we gave those who wished to destroy space to do that, as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate. And that’s what you saw. (bold face mine)

Again I may have missed something, but the last I checked, destruction of property, breaking and entering, and theft are NOT an exercise of free speech! I love free speech. I don’t always exercise my freedom to say what I want, but that’s mostly because it’s not always prudent to say everything I think. I still have to work with people and live to see another day.

These riots, however, are not simply a First Amendment rally. Rioting has gotten so out of hand that the National Guard had to be activated. This is most certainly not a display of free speech.

Other than owning a small business, I’ve never held an executive position before. If I did, I’m fairly confident that I would not give “those who wish to destroy space to do that.” No one should destroy what others have worked so hard to build.

I wonder how Mayor Rawlings-Blake would respond to a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.

~Temerity Dowell

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