1,000 Words: Picturing Baltimore

Images that aren’t likely to be on the front page of newspapers and websites when telling the story of what’s happening in Baltimore.

  • John

    Thanks Bob.

  • crystals
    • kennedy

      The article you linked to lists previous grievances with the police department as contributing causes to the violence. While the end of the article says violence is not justified, all of the prior content blames the police department for sowing the seeds of unrest. This is making excuses for inexcusable acts.

      People live in those neighborhoods and work at those stores. Most of them stayed away from the riots. Many of them are now cleaning up afterwards. I think that’s the point of the pictures in the original post. Those people live in the same city in the same circumstances but chose to build rather than destroy.

      The people that destroyed property and looted are thugs. Blaming their actions on others implies that they cannot control themselves. That seems more demeaning than saying they took advantage of unrest for their own personal gain.

      • crystals

        I think you are assigning a lot of motives and beliefs to people and a community that is not your own based on what you personally believe to be true. (Unless you actually are from or do live in Baltimore. Do you?) That’s fair enough, I suppose…but the author of the piece I linked to is a black man from Baltimore who is widely admired for his analysis of and insights into our country’s complex racial history. In short: I’m going to go with him on this one.

        • Jerry

          Does righteous anger excuse stupidity? I can understand why they would riot without excusing it. Rioting is a symptom, we can’t pretend it is a cure.

          • crystals

            Me too. This quote from a person I know in Baltimore gets at the heart of it, for me personally: “I do not have to condone it to understand it.”

          • “Our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

          • Al

            It’s not an excuse, but it’s an explanation.

        • kennedy

          I’m not assigning motives or beliefs to anyone, Ta-Nehisi Coates did. He equates the riots in Baltimore with a forest fire, “…an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray”. I disagree with the author. Trees cannot choose whether or not to burn. People can choose whether or not to start a fire or throw a brick through a window.

          • Billie

            ‘…People can choose whether or not to start a fire or throw a brick through a window.”
            -point on Kennedy’s side.

    • Ta-Nehisi Coates isn’t really saying much that’s new. Martin Luther King Jr. faced exactly the same arguments from the Black Panthers.

      • crystals

        That may well be. I wasn’t around in Dr. King’s time and have become kind of/sadly desensitized to his words being used to justify all manner of beliefs and behaviors. I like what I read from Coates here & now, but it makes sense that we all draw from those that came before us.