I know I’m not alone on my feelings about what’s going on out in Baltimore.  I feel the same as when the situation exploded in Ferguson, MO a few months ago.  I have to believe many do.  

How in the world does the destruction of other people’s property and other violent tactics serve as a protest to be taken seriously?
Allegedly, these protestors are trying to make a statement about the police-related death of Freddie Gray.  That is in and of itself is a whole different bucket of worms.  Was there police brutality involved in his death?  I don’t know.  I do know that Mr. Gray had taken off running from police, when they were attempting to arrest him.  He had been arrested previously on drug charges.

But back to the whole pillaging and looting—what in the world are these people thinking?  How does this behavior serve to make a perceived bad situation right?  Why are people doing this?  Well, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore pretty much gave permission to these folks to act like savages.
During a press conference, she asked the Baltimore Police Department to give those who wished to destroy, the space to do that.  Here’s the video from the press conference where she said that.

 What?!  Why would someone in authority essentially prevent those who are supposed to protect the public from doing their job?  Baltimore Police were essentially forced to allow people to take their aggression out on innocent people’s property.

This is just another reason why I’m grateful that I live in the Midwest.  While we’re far from perfect here, we just don’t seem to tolerate that kind of thug behavior.  For the most part, we respect other people’s property and lives. 

I think back to even natural disasters.  When Hurricane Katrina happened, people in the area affected waited for the government to come and help them.  When we had the torrential storms and heavy rain back in August of 2007 in our area—there was horrible destruction to homes and lives.

People didn’t just sit and wait for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to arrive to help make everything better.  Folks around here helped their neighbors to pick up the pieces and rebuild.  I heard stories from friends and family over in Rushford, MN who said that when the folks from FEMA did arrive, they were astounded at how much had been accomplished before they even got there.

It’s that same “can do” spirit that is lacking in Baltimore.

Again, was there something hinky involved with the death of Freddie Gray?  I don’t know.  But I do know that destroying other’s property and acting like a thug is not going to do anything but make a bad situation worse.  Since when did destruction equal protesting?  It’s just insane, and it’s driving the bus to encourage stereotyping of that thug behavior.

What is the answer?  I’m not sure.  I tend to think if parents would actually parent their kids and teach morals and values, instead of trying to be their kid’s “best friend,” things would be better.  Parents who are absentee; caught up in their own lives—whether that be work, or nefarious activities are equally to blame.  Those parents need to grow up, be real parents, and set the right examples for kids.

I know we’re not perfect here in the Midwest, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  Here, for the most part, we are sheltered from the stupidity of the kind of behavior we have witnessed in Ferguson, MO and now in Baltimore, MD.