Peaceful protests quickly turned violent Saturday evening while jus’ 50 miles away elites in Washington partied with President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. That’s pretty much all American’s saw from the national media outlets.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is drawing fire for fueling her city’s riots. At a press conference on Saturday evening, Rawlings-Blake made a comment that is now getting a lot of attention:
“It’s a very delicate balancing act, because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,” she said.
The ‘space to destroy’ comment became a green light for radical elements within the protesters to loot, burn and riot the city at will. For most of the night, police battled flare-ups around the city.
The city has now officially declared a “state of emergency,” and the National Guard called out. It came after authorities learned through social media that the Nation of Islam brokered a peace agreement between rivals, the Bloods, the Crips and Black Guerrilla Family “to take out law enforcement officers.”
But that’s not how they’re framing the agreement.
“I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good,” said Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam’s Mosque No. 6. “At the rally, they made the call that they must be united on that day. It should be commended.”
More violence erupted after Monday’s funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died last week from a severe spinal cord injury he suffered in police custody. Gray’s family denounced the violence, saying it was not the way to honor him.
Also on Monday, during another news conference Rawlings-Blake blamed the media for what happened.
“I never said, nor would I ever say, that we are giving people space to destroy our city,” she claimed. “So my words should not be twisted.”
Perhaps the folks of Baltimore ought to listen to Vietnam veteran Robert Valentine, who while being interviewed by CNN, said, “I love my country, I love my charmed city, and I’m an American. I’m not black, white, red, yellow, or nothing; I am American.”
Inspirational words from a real American hero. Mayor Rawlings-Blake ought to take lessons from this man.