I am thankful that there are other outlets providing the necessary backstory beyond what Wolf Blitzer and his ilk have been lazily reporting from Ferguson to Baltimore. We cannot sit on our couches and pretend that these riots have come out of nowhere; we must challenge our complacency and our instinctual need to shy away from hard truths. As a nation, we have legislated certain populations away into certain housing situations that were left high and dry when economic advancement came to the region and when economic situations leave populations aside, it goes beyond housing, it goes to employment and education, health care options and even food choices. It forces those communities into vicious cycles that are inherently difficult to extricate themselves from and after years of those cycles, it shouldn’t be too surprising that chaos and violence erupts. When Baltimore’s power brokers chose to infuse police with little to no supervision, they did more than just betray African-American communities, they set them up for failure because police departments are not designed to be the catch all of societal ills, nor should they be entrusted with all of that responsibility, they should be kept at “To serve and Protect”. The poorer communities need a great deal of investment in order to walk them back from decades of neglect; they need not just adequate public education, they need solid fondational public education, they need more community businesses to be given start up loans in order to provide employment and incentives to the community that there is hope if you have an idea and a dream. These communities shouldn’t be places where dreams die, they have been abused for far too long and it is up to our society to do right by them.
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