Over the weekend, Baltimore citizens gathered to protest the death of Freddie Gray, who was arrested by Baltimore police weeks ago and mysteriously died of a broken neck while in custody. On Sunday, the peaceful protest turned and chaotic, and there were instances of vandalism in the area surrounding Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles were playing a game. This caused a WBAL broadcaster to start handwringing over some smashed windows and traffic jams.
That’s when Orioles COO John Angelos sent Hollander a thorough and thoughtful defense of the protesters. You can read Angelos’ stream of tweets on his account, but I’ve transcribed them here [sic’d throughout]:
Brett speaking only for myself I agree with your point that 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 proper 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.
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 group but is focued 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 US to 3rd 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.
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, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the US and while we are thankful no on 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 ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
As far as extended Twitter rants go, that’s a pretty damn good one.