Things are moving pretty fast in Baltimore. Three weeks ago Baltimore was just another American city, bustling beneath the radar of national attention. Freddie Gray died in police custody on April 12, and here we are in the first days of May and we’ve already witnessed riots, the swift arrest of six Baltimore police officers, and a triumphant victory rally.
There are still so many unanswered questions and conflicting information regarding the death of Freddie Gray that I find this topic very hard to write about. I’m not one who likes to eat crow unless I have to, so I won’t be discussing the actual incident. However, there is no shortage of people who apparently have no problem organizing, demanding, rioting, assaulting, and burning buildings without the necessary information.
When it comes to rioting, I have to be honest, rioting and violence have their place in society. It shouldn’t be hard to admit that violence is sometimes the answer. It just so happens that the climate of injustice is not hot enough yet for me to start breaking windows and setting fires. However, it’s getting warmer every year and if things continue as they have, today’s rioters will be tomorrow’s purveyors of peace.
And that’s what it comes down to. It’s all relative. I can’t stand it when people who simply understand the effectiveness of a riot find camaraderie with rioters only because they riot. Equally frustrating are those who condemn any rioting just because they don’t agree with the current riot’s cause.
The argument that Baltimore rioters are only hurting their own neighborhood can go either way. On one hand, as a rightist if we were to riot, I can guarantee you that we would take the fight directly to enemy territory because we actually have stakes in our own community. We own property, take pride in our property, and have a sense of preserving it because we built it – it has value to us.
On the other hand, even though the Baltimore rioters destroyed their own neighborhood it was still effective. They inspired fear in the masses who watched it on TV. Other city governments took notice and their imaginations swirled with worse case scenarios were it to happen to them. The riots have also inspired a loss of faith in the police and provided a spark of inspiration for other cities’ neighborhoods that are powderkegs ready to explode on command. In the end, when the smoke clears, who do you think will foot the bill for Baltimore’s rebuilding? Will they even suffer a loss?
Now as a police officer, my job is to maintain order. It’s common sense. We are the first line of defense for protecting life and property, so if we are going to insist that we be the only ones who are in charge of that protection, we better do a damn good job at it. So what the hell gave the Baltimore police the right to stand down? As innocent people were being assaulted and private property was destroyed by mob violence, how moral was it for them to take command – then make a command decision to stand down?
I think citizens and businesses in large cities need to ask their local police departments if they are willing to stop a riot if it breaks out. If the city cannot guarantee protection from mob rule or is unwilling to do so, then the citizens should make the decision to defend themselves. Baltimore won’t be the last city to smolder.
The State as insurgent
Events in Baltimore began to get suspicious when Baltimore’s own City Councilman Nick Mosby said this about the riots (language all his):
What it is – is young boys, the young folks in this community showing decades old of anger, frustration for a system that’s failed them…These young guys are frustrated; they upset and unfortunately they displaying it in a very destructive manner. When folks are undereducated, unfortunately they don’t have the same intellectual voice to express it the way other people doing and that’s what we see through the violence today.
He went on to say that the media is the problem for focusing solely on the riots and when the reporter asked him why the police were allowing the violence and looting, Mr. Mosby said:
We asked them [the police] to back off…we told them we would be able to kind of talk to the young guys out here and we asked them to back up and they did it and it worked out.
It worked out alright. Councilman Mosby also said that rioting is wrong, but I’ll let you decide how sincere his statement was or if it was just obligatory. To me, he seemed delighted with the violence and more angry at the reporter for questioning it.
This interview took place on the street during the riot with a Fox News reporter and it is posted below. Notice how Mosby stands in front of what resembles a boxer’s entourage before a main event, surrounded by angry associates who restlessly sway back and forth behind him. As Mr. Mosby stood comfortably among the posse, his clean, expensive suit was in contrast to a man concealing his face with a white t-shirt like a terrorist.
I found it interesting that somehow Mosby blamed the riots on a failed system, yet takes no responsibility for being an elected official at the top rung of the system he claims is such a failure. Instead, his own tone is one of anger similar to those of the rioters who stood behind him.
Perhaps someone needs to let Mr. Mosby know that he is no longer sitting in one of his many social justice classes he took in college and that he is actually an elected politician now who does not have access to the victim card. He needs to man up or get out of office because he is the system. Local government is by far the most impactive level of government for people, but only when it’s done right and with people who are qualified to be there.
Perhaps it is all a racket. Do black leaders routinely climb to the top rungs of city government to fein helplessness and despair from some greater evil by which they say they have no control over; an evil that they cannot address—even with all the resources and tax dollars that are available to a large American city?
In my opinion, the greater evil is themselves and their obsessive culture that finds no greater joy than the collective of tribal victimhood and anger.
At what point do black people finally see themselves as the system? What world do we live in where a city councilman stands with rioters and rioters stand with a city councilmen? Or when a mayor attends a victory rally because the demands of rioters were answered? When the insurgent and the government stand hand in hand, you must begin to ask who they think the real enemy is?
“Black power” equals more government power?
Clues to the answer were found during the victory rally held Saturday. It appeared that a few hundred to a thousand people showed up for the rally. I was watching CNN and while the news reporters painted a picture of American justice and police reform for everyone as the six Baltimore officers were swiftly charged, the background noise of the speeches and chants during the rally were nothing but echoes of Marxism and black liberation theology.
The tone of the victory rally was clearly black power and injustice narratives that demanded more government programs and spending for black communities as well as federal intervention into local law enforcement. Who lashes out against the government to demand more government? And should we support them?
The archetype of the rioter or revolutionary freedom fighter was made popular through pop-culture and media over the years, securing a place for him in the heart of all Americans. Even some libertarians cherish the image of masked fighters resisting the state. But now it comes into fruition that those who actually resist the state with violence (and not just fantasize about it) are the ones demanding more government control. Oops.
Many fans of the Cop Block collective swear that they are comprised of libertarian-minded lovers of freedom. I have to question that when they appear to champion resistance just because it is resistance. They appear to take no caution in inadvertently supporting enemies of their alleged founding ideals of smaller government.
At another rally Al Sharpton said, “We need the Justice Department to take over policing in this country,” and went on to declare war on states’ rights by saying, “In the 20th century, they had to fight states’ rights to get the right to vote. We’re going to have to fight states’ rights in terms of closing down police cases.”
All this momentum for more government was ushered in on a wave that began as one specific right wing narrative, which no doubt emerged from the fear and anger of Obama’s America: the rise of the alleged police state.
Police state as reform?
It’s kind of funny how the right’s condemnation of a non-existent police state is what is actually leading to a real police state. The answer to what you thought was heavy-handed local law enforcement is now apparently federally operated police agencies. Sounds friendly.
You’ve warned of a police state for years. What does it say of your police state that was allegedly ready to boot stomp your freedom on command, when a major city police department failed to protect life and property from a mob of mostly juveniles? Or perhaps the state decides who gets protection and who does not?
As a police officer with inside knowledge of actual police power and capabilities, I can attest that as long as law enforcement is operated at a local level and law and order is reasonably maintained that there can be no police state. Regardless of what any YouTube video says, local law enforcement resists a police state.
But they are trying. Al Sharpton just demanded it. The rioters in Baltimore are asking for it under the guise of social justice as they exploit the unavoidably ugly nature of policing. Policing is a necessary function in society that can’t help but to appear ugly and unaccountable at times.
The millions of day to day encounters police have with citizens can be dynamic and unpredictable which can lead to questionable incidents like Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, John Crawford, and Freddie Gray as well as lesser known incidents like Kelly Thomas and other whites who are actually killed by the police more than blacks. There isn’t a single nation in the world that has perfected policing yet, and nobody ever will.
But they want you to think that they can perfect policing and bring justice to the people. Just a little more oversight, a little more control, and a little more government should do the trick, right?