I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything on my blog for five months. On the plus side, I’ve been working on my fiction writing, dutifully typing away on past, present and future projects. I’ve been doing a few freelance projects here and there that have made me a little coin. However, I have neglected YOU, dear reader, and for that I apologize.
In Baltimore, we’ve had some troubles of late, which you might have heard of. If not, then here is a link.
Photo copyright 2015 C.S. Trimmier
I don’t live in any of the areas that were directly affected by the riots, but I had to live under a curfew for a week, and that sucked. However, it didn’t suck as badly as it would have if I were working at a bar or restaurant. I feel for those people. I went out and ate at a restaurant and went out to a bar just because I wanted to help them make up some revenue. OK, maybe I like going to restaurants and bars too. We’re blessed with plenty worth going to in Hampden, the commercial district nearest to my home. If you’re visiting Baltimore and you want to see someplace that isn’t tourist-y, “The Avenue” in Hampden is where it’s at, Hon.
So, being the thinking person I am (which is dangerous, yes, I know), I was less than impressed with the national news coverage of the Baltimore situation. It seemed they all wanted to cram this into the context of some racial or socioeconomic inequality narrative they already had going. Like many things Baltimore, yes there is some of the same as everywhere else, but mostly it is something different.
To understand the context, you’ve got to go back a few years. You’ve got to understand that Baltimore City has been paying out boatloads of cash on an obscene number of police brutality cases on a consistent basis. You’ve got to understand that Baltimore fired the top cop and brought in a new one with the express purpose of putting an end to the brutality. And then Freddie Gray, who was uninjured (contrary to some false reports) prior to his illegal (according to the prosecutor) arrest, was fatally wounded in the back of a police van.
The problem with the Freddie Gray case isn’t about race. The problem isn’t about poverty. The problem is a Baltimore police force that has failed to mercilessly terminate its bad elements like the poisonous vermin they are.
We have cops who have shot citizen’s dogs just because they can.
And now we have cops who killed somebody just because they didn’t give a damn.
Or that is at least how it appears.
Now, I’m not anti-police. I have police in my family. I know they’ve got a difficult, thankless job. I know most police are good intentioned, decent people. But some of them are not.
The problem with police forces all around America is that the police are a brotherhood, and they protect their own, even when they shouldn’t.
If America is going to reconcile this problem, it is going to require a culture shift in police forces everywhere in the country. Police are going to need to shift from an attitude of “the cop is always right” to “the force must be above reproach.” The police in America must actively seek out their bad elements and remove them from their ranks.
That’s my opinion. You know what those are like.