photo-karl merton ferron, Baltimore Sun
BY STEPHEN DUNN
This photo grabbed my attention this week. It was of a protestor in Baltimore responding the persons of the 300 Man March movement that had come to the city to try to be a “neutral force” in helping the anger and violence of Baltimore to subside. It was a sentiment shared by the citizens of that city that had been victimized by the riots on the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, apparently at the hands of officers of the Baltimore Police Force. It was shared by the black mayor of Baltimore who invoked a rigid curfew to control the violence. It was shared by the families of the 100 police officers who been attacked and injured while trying to protect the citizenry.
It was not shared, I suspect, by those of many races, who will continue to use this tragic event to further divide us and to use the misfortune of this city to advance their hateful and self-serving aims.
That Freddie Gray had died because of the criminal conduct of some officers seems pretty certain at this time. And if everything is proven in a court of law, these men in blue will become men in orange as they enter prison. But we should not forget that Freddie Gray’s criminal record reveals him to be a societal predator that undermines the well-being of any city. Still, he did not deserve to die as he did. He is hardly, however a martyr.
I believe that this man’s shirt should be our first goal. To stop murdering one another, stop preying on one another, stop hating one another because of our personal philosophies and prejudices. To stop trying hold onto the past as an excuse for despising our brothers.
I know that the issues are complicated, but resorting to violence unleashes hatred not healing–and we all suffer.
Long ago the Prophet Isaiah gave us wise counsel: …”Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, – Isaiah 1:17-18 And the end game of that effort: forgiveness and healing.