I am disappointed and frustrated that the city of Baltimore, Maryland erupted with a wave of violent rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died from spinal injury while in police custody. Despite pleas of peace and calm from Gray’s family, pastors, and community officials, rioters thugged out and wreaked havoc. The casualty of this mob attack are those who invested in the very community where few were willing and the residents who may loose some community resources. One of the properties destroyed was a $16 million dollar senior affordable housing and transformation center. This church run facilitated was scheduled to provide 60 apartment units and human and health services that included workforce development, life coaching, behavior counseling, and mortgage lending services
Here is what Reverend Donte Hickman, the Baltimore pastor who runs the facility had to say
The reason they burned it is the reason why we needed it. We were seeking to restore people while we rebuilt properties. We wanted to affect change in the human community…
They’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement, they’re stealing…They’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities that rob jobs and opportunity from people in that area
Sadly a majority of the rioters were high school students. Freddie Grey’s mother didn’t want this. Yet, some angry opportunistic elements turned that community upside down looting, burning fires, and even cutting the hoses of firemen trying to save the property. Speaking directly to young students I have to say think for yourself and realize what you do affects everyone around you. Stop breaking your mother’s heart and causing your family and the people who care about you all manner of grief and frustration just because you aren’t bold enough to use your own mind and go against ridiculous nonsense, or because you’re trying to “keep it real.” Here is reality. Your Ancestors didn’t spend hundreds of years in humiliating bondage for this . The people who died and were beaten during the civil rights movement so all Americans could have equal rights didn’t make those sacrifices for selfish acts that tear families and communities apart. The men and women of the US Military who lost their lives for this country didn’t die for you to let your misbehavior to get so out of control that police task forces and the national guard are brought in.
Best wishes goes out to those in Baltimore whose property was stolen, damaged or destroyed. Thank you to those policemen and community members who stood up and took back the streets.
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