Friday, May 1, 2015

And they continue to flow, the tears and my fears

I was almost convinced to move on, to find a subject more in line with my everyday life and the lives of the blacks who are my friends, many of whom I regard as my brothers and sisters in the faith.

But then, our local newspaper, the Herald-Citizen, published in Cookeville, TN, published an article written by a Christine Flowers, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News,  She was born in Baltimore, but her family moved back to Philadelphia, apparently, shortly after her birth.

We share something in common as she reported on her birthplace as she loves to return so she might cheer for the Baltimore Orioles, to eat the always delicious crab cakes made famous over the years along the docks in the heart of the city and to visit Little Italy.  Made me yearn to return for a visit, once again.

We also had something else in common, the carnage we all saw as the protesters began to pillage stores they had broken into and the fires they had set, began to destroy buildings in the area.  It was not new to me.  It merely reminded me of the the Watts riots years before.

Then, as seems to be the common bind that draws our younger generations together, she went on FaceBook and joined the debates with those those whose purpose is to debate the political, social, cultural and legal significance of the events at hand.  Perhaps, recalling the tales of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.  To her credit, however, Christine seemed much more concerned about the fact that this was her birthplace and it was on fire and her greater concerns appears to have been for the police involvement and the municipal authority that was under attack

She reports, "Being angry about the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and now, Freddie Gray doesn't justify destroying a city or terrorizing innocent people."  She is right.  But so were the righteous citizens of Watts, of Ferguson, of New York City, years ago   There were so many others, we tend to forget their names  But we immediately recall those whose actions terrorized their cities, and often because of the injustices suggested by others of the police or municipal authorities.

The citizens of Baltimore have seen a ray of hope, hopefully for all of us.  The State had recently appointed a lady as their State's Attorney, a relatively young lady whose family tree recorded six generations of policemen.  Her name, Marilyn Mosby.  Remember the name.  She just may go down in history as the one who brought the force of law to the agency that was supposed to have taken an oath to represent the law.  Six of the police officers involved in the arrest - and death, of Freddie Gray have now been accused of participation in his death.

So now, the wheels of justice have been activated.  Too  often, they appear to move too slowly to apply justice to the circumstances.  We honor our police officers as - for most of us, they do righteously, administer the law.  We hate to be aware of those who do not.

The drama that will frame the activities of all who are involved in this incident will bear watching.

Christine closed her article, concerned about the inevitability that what has happened in Balitimore might come to Philadelphia.  At that point, she had not heard of Marilyn Mosby.  I trust she will keep her thoughts on her and that the next story she writes about her hometown will reflect the new day that has appeared for all of us and that the divide between blacks and whites will be narrowing.

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