Scattered thoughts about the mess in Baltimore. The rioting over the death of a drug dealer the police arrested.
One thought is about the mother who clipped her teenage boy. When she found him among the rioters. We saw videos of her. She gets my vote for Mom of the Year.
Another thought concerns the excuse makers. From the President on down there have been many. Most of them said about the same thing: Rioting is not the answer. But these rioters have grievances. They live in bad conditions. The police have it in for them. They cannot find jobs. Stuff like that.
It saddens me when leaders and commentators link the rioting to grievances. We heard many do the same when rioters set fire to Ferguson. Over the death of a black teen.
Here is one reason I am saddened. The link between grievances and rioters may exist. But there is a lot of evidence it is a weak link. A lot of evidence that virtually professional rabble-rousers fomented the rioting. These are monsters who don’t live in either community. They worked hard, however, to spark the violence. A good word for them is probably anarchists.
Even if they did not exist I would still be troubled when prominent people link the grievances to the rioting.
Imagine your youngster lobs a brick through your front window. When you confront him he whines that life in your house is too harsh. He hates the food. The Wi-Fi stinks. You don’t give him enough spending money. You bought the wrong sneakers for him. You are never around when he needs you.
My guess is you would tell him to stuff all that. “You smashed our window! You are in deep do-do, young man.”
Wait a minute, he whines some more. How about my grievances?
“Shut your mouth. We’ll deal with your grievances later, boy. When I’m good and ready. Right now you’ve got some splainin’ and cleanin’ to do. And you better plan to be quarantined. Tied to your room with no phoning, texting, tweeting or any of your devices for a month. That’s for starters.”
I wish our President and the others thought and spoke this way about the rioters. “You can demonstrate all you want. But riot and you go to jail. You get fined. Destroy or damage property and you pay. You are scum and we will treat you accordingly.
“Link between your grievances and rioting? There is none. There is no excuse for rioting. None. Zero. Nada. I take that back. The excuse you have for rioting is that you are a stupid, dangerous animal. We will treat you as such.”
But we still have grievances.
“Okay. We will deal with those separately. Later. Much later. There are ways that communities deal with such things. Sometimes it takes a lot of demonstrations to embarrass leaders to do the right thing. So maybe you will demonstrate in future. But when you riot, you cross the line. When you destroy, you become criminals. End of discussion.”
Call me unfeeling. Or old-fashioned. Sorry. One of the simplest rules of life to me is that you don’t riot. You don’t destroy. If you do you deserve jail.
A parting thought about the political riff-raff. The guys who blamed this Republican policy. Or that Democrat policy. Enough! Policies have no doubt helped create lousy conditions. Dumb policies have throttled jobs. And coddled kids that needed a kick in the butt.
But those policies have nothing to do with riots and destruction. Rioters are wild animals. You don’t reason with animals. You don’t try to understand them and where they are coming from. You need to capture them and deal with where they are going to.
Only then do we look seriously at reforms.
From Tom...as in Morgan.