You were home during some of my family’s best years. There has always been talk of retirement in Maryland.
My adult daughter worked in the city, living just 2 blocks from Camden Yards.
I feel a connection and care about what’s happening to you.
You are a proud, hard working and diverse community with a devotion to your ethnicity.
You are also a city of poverty, racial divide and the hopelessness that comes with the drug culture.
When I first heard about the death of Freddie Gray, my heart broke a little. I knew what was coming, what was certain to happen.
You are not Ferguson, not Cleveland, not North Charleston, not the much- gentrified Brooklyn.
You are a city that was waiting to explode, and in a way not seen since the 1960’s.
You were vandalized by youth, you were burned by children still in high school uniforms. Your “thugs” did not have the maturity to deal with the anger.
Was it wrong ? Of course. Did they take advantage of an opportunity to loot, and steal and create mayhem ? For sure. Did Freddie Gray have a rap sheet ? Yes.
But how many media outlets covered the peaceful protests in your streets for 7 days prior ?
How many took photos of Orioles’ fans taunting the crowd outside the stadium on Saturday night, where they’d been detained for their safety ? Where racial slurs and obscene gestures were hurled at the protestors who had not yet turned violent?
There were a few pictures of the next day clean-up effort by your embarrassed citizens. There is the photo of the mom beating some sense into her rioting son. There are a few photos of peaceful interaction between police and citizens of all color.
The cameras will leave. So will the National Guard.
There will be healing. You will rise from the ashes.
There will still be a lot of questions, a lot of issues.
So many of us will be watching.
And one day, I’ll be back.