I watched the riots Monday night and also watched on Tuesday morning. I was amazed at the comments from local citizens. The basic premise was that the people were angry and they were tired of black men being routinely killed by policemen. They seemed to believe that it was a daily occurrence. The media seemed to contribute to this by supporting the premise that the rage was valid although it should not include looting and arson.
COLONEL DONALD J. MYERS USMC (Ret)
I was born and raised in Baltimore until I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1953. After I retired, I returned to the Baltimore area and remained for 15 years. Most of my large family still lives in the Baltimore area. I had two of my uncles retire as Baltimore policemen and several of my nephews have retired from the police force. I wrote weekly editorials for several years while I was in Baltimore and covered the various aspects of the city such as education and government.
The city of Baltimore has had a democratic mayor since 1967. The police chief and his deputy are both black and the greatest percentage of the officers are also black. The state of Maryland has had a democratic governor since 1969 except for four years when Bob Ehrlich won the governorship. Seven of the eight delegates to the House of Representatives are democratic and both of the federal senators are democrats. The state of Maryland is one of the bluest if not the most blue in the country and it has been led by liberals for nearly 50 years. The school system in Baltimore is struggling to say the least. The last time that I checked, the graduation rate for students who start high school and eventually graduation was less than 50 percent.
As an aside, President Obama stated that he was going to change our approach to dealing with Cuba because what we had been doing for the last 50 years apparently did not work. I suspect that the same could be said for Baltimore and many of our other large cities. They have been controlled by liberal democrats for decades and the policies that were implemented do not work. If the people in Baltimore want change, then they need to change the people in government. The Baltimore mayor stated on Monday that she was allowing distance so that those who wanted to destroy could do so. What kind of leadership is that? Later, she denied stating that and blamed the media for taking her comment out of context. There is absolutely no way that her comment could possibly be misunderstood. I listened to it several times.
On Monday night, the police merely stood their ground and watched the rioters burn and steal. I suspect that they were under orders to let the events play out and not interfere for fear that it would increase the violence. I am sure that those officers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan had flashbacks about the “rules of engagement” when their hands were tied in dealing with the enemy.
When this finally abates, how many businesses will return to the area? The insurance costs alone will probably prevent many from doing so, and those that do will be forced to charge much higher prices to cover the additional costs of doing business. Most of this rioting can be attributed to poor information and in some cases a deliberate ploy to create chaos.
Donald Myers is a retired Marine Colonel and can be reached at email@example.com